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Arkansas Senate tables efforts for Texas-style abortion ban

February 16, 2022 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Republican-dominated Arkansas Senate tabled efforts Thursday to enact an abortion ban modeled on Texas’ restrictive law, thus dimming prospects for it to come back up during this year’s session.

The Senate voted 20-11 to table resolutions that would have allowed lawmakers to consider banning abortion except to save a mother’s life. Like the Texas law, the ban would be enforced by private citizens filing lawsuits.

Senators a day earlier rejected a push for similar measures, with abortion opponents divided on whether to Texas’ law while they await a critical U.S. Supreme Court decision. That ruling on Mississippi’s 15-week ban, expected later this year, could weaken or overturn the landmark Roe v Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

The Arkansas ban would need at least two-thirds of lawmakers’ support in the House and Senate to be considered during the session, which is intended to focus on the state’s budget. It would take the same threshold, or 24 votes, in the state Senate to remove the resolutions from the table.