Democratic Governor Mike Beebe signed a bill on Friday that would ban so-called partial birth abortions in Arkansas. The bill passed in the state Senate last week in a 30 to 3 vote and passed in the Arkansas state House of Representatives in an 84 to 6 vote after no debate.
The legislation has an exception to save the life of the mother, but does not have a health exception. Doctors could face felony charges under the law and civil liabilities for performing the procedure, according to the Associated Press. The bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Representative Dawn Creekmore, has said that the law would only affect abortions after the first trimester.
The legislation is parallel to federal law that bans so-called partial birth abortions, a medical procedure that is not restricted to a particular stage of pregnancy. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in 2007 to uphold the federal Partial Birth Abortion Act, which was passed by the Republican controlled Congress in 2003 and bans the same abortion procedure.