Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed a bill Monday afternoon that would have prohibited abortions if a fetus' heartbeat could be detected 12 or more weeks into a pregnancy.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has vetoed a bill that would ban most abortions in the state at 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
The Democratic governor said in a statement Tuesday he had concerns about the measure's constitutionality and potential cost.
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.
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.