LITTLE ROCK, March 6, 2013, ( – For the second time in six days, the Arkansas House of Representatives has enacted a pro-life law over the objections of Governor Michael Beebe, voting to override his veto of a bill banning abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy.

The override passed this morning by a vote of 56-33.


The state senate voted for the bill to become law yesterday on a party-line 20-14 vote. Only a majority is required in the senate.

The bill — which will not allow abortionists to end an unborn child's life after his heartbeat can be detected — contains exceptions for rape, incest, to save the life of the mother, or for severe fetal defects. It will become law 90 days after the legislature adjourns, either later this month or in April.

Arkansas has become the 21st state to restrict abortion to the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, according to NARAL Pro-Choice America.

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The vote comes less than a week after the state legislature voted to override Beebe's veto of a fetal pain abortion ban, which restricted the procedure to the first 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Today's effort to implement a more restrictive law passed the House with more votes than the 20-week ban, which passed by a 53-28 margin.

Yet those are significantly fewer votes than the measure garnered when the lower chamber first approved the bill. The bill originally passed the House with 68 votes.

As in the senate vote, many Democrats who initially supported the bill found themelves tugged by loyalty to their fellow Democrats.

Democratic State Senator Bobby Pierce told the Associated Press last week that he still agrees with ending abortion after an unborn child can feel pain, but he voted against the measure out of loyalty to his party and Governor Beebe.