This would have been the most restrictive abortion law in the country.
The legislation would ban abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy if a fetal heartbeat is detected using an abdominal ultrasound. The Democratic governor said banning abortions at 12 weeks contradicts the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion until a fetus could survive outside the womb. A fetus is generally considered viable at around 22 to 24 weeks.
“Because it would impose a ban on a woman’s right to choose an elective, nontherapeutic abortion well before viability, Senate Bill 134 blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court,” Beebe said in his veto letter. “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.”