Arkansas lawmakers send governor Down syndrome abortion ban

LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas lawmakers have sent the governor legislation that would ban abortions because of a Down syndrome diagnosis, the latest in a series of restrictions on the procedure to clear the predominantly Republican Legislature.

The House on Wednesday approved by a 75-11 vote a bill that would prohibit doctors from performing an abortion if it's solely being sought because the fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome. The measure now heads to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who plans to sign it into law.

[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, and Utah's Republican governor signed a similar ban this month. A federal judge blocked a similar measure signed by Kentucky's governor this month.

Hutchinson this month signed into law an 18-week abortion ban.