Ark. House Speaker: Abortion bill likely to pass

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas House Speaker Davy Carter says he expects legislation to ban most abortions at 12 weeks into a pregnancy will pass.

Carter told reporters Friday he anticipates the bill will pass the House next week — but declined to say whether he supports it. He previously raised concerns about the constitutionality of the original bill that would've prohibited abortion as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

The bill by Republican Sen. Jason Rapert was amended to prohibit most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected 12 weeks into pregnancy. It includes exemptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother.

The Senate passed the original version and must approve the amendment before it goes to Gov. Mike Beebe. Beebe has said he still thinks the measure is unconstitutional.

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