The Arkansas Senate voted to override Governor Mike Beebe’s (D) veto of the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act yesterday. The override passed the Senate in a twenty to fourteen vote. All fourteen Arkansas Democratic Senators voted against the override. In a letter issued after Beebe’s veto on Monday, Beebe said the bill twenty to fourteen vote“blatantly contradicts” the Constitution.
Senate Bill 134, or the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act, includes exemptions for rape, incest, life of the mother and severe fetal abnormalities. If the Arkansas House also overrides the veto, it will be the most restrictive abortion ban in the country. A simple majority is needed in both the state Senate and state House to override the governor’s veto.
Last week, the Arkansas Senate voted to override Governor Beebe’s veto of a bill that bans abortion at twenty weeks. The Senate voted 19 to 14 in favor of overriding the veto following a House vote approving the veto override by 53 to 28 last Wednesday. The passage of the bill makes Arkansas the tenth state to outlaw abortions after 20 weeks. Beebe vetoed the bill on claims that it was also unconstitutional.