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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.

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Archived Comments

  • limb
    March 27, 2019 at 7:08 p.m.

    Nuts. Young families need not move to Arkansas.

  • Packman
    March 27, 2019 at 8:56 p.m.

    Showing respect for life. Nice. Very nice.

  • BobfromMarion
    March 27, 2019 at 11:52 p.m.

    The courts have ruled that a woman can have an abortion up to a certain point in the pregnancy. There are no qualifiers in the court's ruling.

    There appears to be some question exactly at what point the state in the pregnancy can outlaw an abortion. AR has passed a law setting 18 weeks. Some states have 20. Others set a date a little bit farther along. The court's wording is a bit vague since various states can set different weeks in the pregnancy where an abortion can't be done.

    This law will be challenged. The state will not win. The reason: If the pregnancy is beyond the 18 weeks, it would be illegal. If the pregnancy is under 18 weeks, the abortion would be legal and the woman would not have to give a reason to anyone.

    Abortions can be done after 18 weeks to save the life of the mother or if the fetus is dying or has died the doctors can follow the best medical procedure in getting the fetus out of the woman.

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