LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas House panel on Tuesday endorsed legislation to ban nearly all abortions in the state, sending the bill toward its final vote in the Legislature.
The House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee advanced the legislation, which would all abortions except those to save the mother's life in a medical emergency. The measure does not include exceptions for rape and incest victims.
Arkansas is one of at least 13 states where outright abortion bans have been proposed this year, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports abortion rights.
The bans are being pushed by Republicans encouraged by former President Donald Trump's appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court. Those Republicans say it's time to test where the high court stands on overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
Abortion rights supporters said they are prepared to challenge the Arkansas measure if it becomes law.
The measure goes to the full House for a vote. If the House approves, it goes to Gov. Asa Hutchinson's desk. Hutchinson, a Republican who has backed other limits on abortion, has not said if he backed the measure but said he was concerned about the lack of rape and incest exceptions.