Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe (D) on Monday vetoed the most restrictive anti-abortion proposal in the nation, which would have banned abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy.


In a statement, Beebe said the legislation "blatantly contradicts the United States Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court." In its Planned Parenthood v. Casey ruling, the Supreme Court upheld a woman's right to obtain an abortion prior to 22-weeks of pregnancy.

"When I was sworn in as Governor I took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend both the Arkansas Constitution and the Constitution of the United States. I take that oath seriously," the governor added.

The Republican-led legislature approved the Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act last week. Supporters of the legislation said the state should prohibit abortion once an ultrasound was able to detect the heartbeat of a fetus.

Last week, Beebe vetoed a bill that would ban all abortions after 20-weeks of pregnancy. However, the Arkansas legislature voted to overturn the governor's veto.

-- --

[Image via Arkansas governor's office.]