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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - The Republican-led Arkansas House overwhelmingly approved legislation banning most abortions at 20 weeks into a pregnancy on Thursday, then passed a fetal heartbeat restriction that would be among the most stringent in the nation if it became law.
Lawmakers voted 80-10 on the passage of the 20-week proposal and sent it to Democratic Governor Mike Beebe, who has said he has constitutional concerns about both proposals but declined to say whether he would veto them.
The 20-week measure includes exemptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother, but not for fatal fetal disorders. It is based on the disputed idea that fetuses can feel pain at 20 weeks.
No lawmakers spoke against the measure. Twenty-nine of the 48 House Democrats and the chamber's only Green Party member voted for the 20-week ban. Ten Democrats voted against it, while nine did not vote.
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