Arkansas Senate Panel Endorses 18-Week Abortion Ban

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A proposal to ban abortions 18 weeks into a woman's pregnancy is heading to the Arkansas Senate for a vote after lawmakers added exceptions for rape and incest.

The Senate Public Health Committee on Wednesday approved the House-backed measure, which initially only included exceptions for medical emergencies. Arkansas currently bans abortions 20 weeks into a woman's pregnancy.

The proposal could be the strictest abortion ban in the country if enacted, though proposals banning abortion earlier into a woman's pregnancy are being considered in other states.

The panel also advanced a measure that would require abortion facilities to report any complications from the procedure within three days to the state Department of Health. The measures are among several abortion restrictions moving quickly through the majority-Republican Legislature.

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