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Arkansas Senate approves Down syndrome abortion ban

by The Associated Press | March 20, 2019 at 3:00 p.m.

LITTLE ROCK — The Arkansas Senate has approved a measure prohibiting doctors from performing abortions because of a Down syndrome diagnosis, the latest restriction on the procedure that's advancing in the majority-Republican Legislature.

The Senate on Wednesday approved by a 29-2 vote the bill, which prohibits doctors from performing abortions if they know the procedure is being sought solely because of the diagnosis. The measure now heads to the House.

[RELATED: Complete Democrat-Gazette coverage of the Arkansas Legislature]

North Dakota has a similar law in effect prohibiting abortion for genetic anomaly, including Down syndrome. Kentucky's governor this week signed a measure into law banning abortion because of the gender, race or disability of the fetus.

The proposal is among several abortion restrictions moving through the Legislature, including an 18-week ban on the procedure that was signed into law last week.

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