Democratic Governor Mike Beebe on Tuesday vetoed a bill to ban most abortions in Arkansas at 20 weeks into pregnancy, though state lawmakers can override his decision with a simple majority vote.
The measure, which had been approved by an 80 to 10 vote in the state House and by a 25 to 7 vote in the state Senate, would provide exceptions only in cases of rape, incest or to save a mother's life. It is one of several bills introduced by Republicans this year seeking to restrict abortion. This is the first time the party has controlled both chambers since the Reconstruction era.
Beebe said in his veto letter that because it "would impose a ban on a woman's right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion before viability, (the bill), if it became law, would squarely contradict Supreme Court precedent."
Arkansas currently limits abortions after 25 weeks.