LITTLE ROCK The Arkansas Senate has passed a bill to ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected, a move that would prohibit the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.
The Senate on Thursday voted 26-8 in favor the bill that would require a test for a fetal heartbeat before an abortion in the state. If a heartbeat is detected, an abortion could not be performed.
The measure includes exemptions for rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. It has the backing of 19 of the Senate's 35 members.
Also on Thursday the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee plans to consider a separate bill that would ban abortions at 20 weeks. That proposal does not include exemptions for rape and incest.