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Gov. Beebe vetoes abortion bill

Posted: February 26, 2013 - 3:38pm

Democratic Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe said Tuesday he will veto a bill that would ban most abortions in the state at 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

On Tuesday afternoon, Beebe released a "veto letter" that said he vetoed the measure because "it would impose a ban on woman's right to choose an elective, non-theraputic abortion before viability, House Bill 1037, if it became law, would squarely contradict Supreme Court precedent. When I was sworn in as Governor, I took an oath to preserve, protect and defend both the Arkansas Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. I take that oath seriously."

The bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature is based on the disputed belief that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks. It includes exemptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Beebe said previously that he had constitutional concerns about the 20-week ban and said in an emailed statement that he would veto the bill. Opponents say it runs afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion until the point where fetuses can survive outside the womb, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

Lawmakers can override Beebe's veto with a simple majority.

The House approved the bill, sponsored by Republican Rep. Andy Mayberry, on an 80-10 vote last week. It had been previously approved by the Senate.

While the bill makes an exception for cases where the mother's life is in jeopardy, it does not have an exemption for cases in which the fetus has a fatal disease or disorder.

Beebe said he met with Mayberry before making his decision.

Mayberry's bill is one of two abortion measures under consideration by the Legislature, which has a Republican majority for the first time since Reconstruction.

The second bill bans abortion at the point in which a heartbeat can be detected using an abdominal ultrasound — typically about 12 weeks into a pregnancy. That bill has already passed both chambers but is headed back to the Senate on Wednesday for lawmakers to vote on amendment that includes an exemption for fatal fetal disorders.

The House already approved the version with the amendment.

The original version of the "heartbeat" bill passed the Senate 26-8.

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Reaganesque
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Reaganesque 02/26/13 - 03:59 pm
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Well..............

Go to Mars B

i_wonder
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i_wonder 02/26/13 - 04:08 pm
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well played
Unpublished

"Lawmakers can override Beebe's veto with a simple majority."

Which he knows exists *wink*

arkansasobserver
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arkansasobserver 02/26/13 - 04:53 pm
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20 weeks

I heard that a doctor at Children's Hospital was quoted as saying that viability has been reduced considerably from the 22 - 24 week viability standard that existed in 1973, and that this law would bring the viability legal standard more in line with today's reality. Since the Supreme Court decision then was based upon viability outside the womb, rather than the number of weeks, I don't see why this would be unconstitutional if the physician's statement is true.

ARVoiceofLogic
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ARVoiceofLogic 02/26/13 - 05:01 pm
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AO

I haven't heard about this (very interesting if true). Do you have links?

Also is this "one doctor" or the medical community?

i_wonder
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i_wonder 02/26/13 - 05:15 pm
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BearFan4
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BearFan4 02/26/13 - 05:41 pm
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So viability begins at 21

So viability begins at 21 weeks, not 20 weeks. Therefore the bill was unconstitutional.

i_wonder
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i_wonder 02/26/13 - 11:01 pm
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actually
Unpublished

Unless things have changed, there are no facilities in Arkansas for aborting fetuses larger that 20 weeks.

So, you would have to go out-of-state to get an abortion that late.

Which, would make the law a moot point, unless there is a facility in Arkansas that has the capability.

BearFan4
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BearFan4 02/27/13 - 08:22 am
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Ok....

So then what's your argument???

ARVoiceofLogic
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ARVoiceofLogic 02/27/13 - 09:39 am
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LOL

Which now pretty much proves this is a huge waste of the state legislature's time. It's grandstanding for reelection.

Again, our education system is A++. We definitely don't need to spend any more time on it.

i_wonder
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i_wonder 02/27/13 - 10:12 am
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my argument?
Unpublished

I wasn't making an argument.

Just a post to a link that proves under 22 weeks is viable now.

And, it may be the case that Arkansas has a facility to abort 20+ week fetuses now, I'm not up on all the newest weapons of mass destruction.

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