Arkansas lawmakers send governor Down syndrome abortion ban

In this Feb. 25, 2018 file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks at the National Governor Association 2018 winter meeting in Washington. Arkansas lawmakers have sent the governor legislation banning most abortions 18 weeks into a woman's pregnancy, a prohibition that could be the strictest in the country. The House on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, gave final approval by an 86-1 vote to the bill, which Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he supports. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas lawmakers have sent the governor legislation that would ban abortions because of a Down syndrome diagnosis, the latest in a series of restrictions on the procedure to clear the predominantly Republican Legislature.

The House on Wednesday approved by a 75-11 vote a bill that would prohibit doctors from performing an abortion if it’s solely being sought because the fetus is diagnosed with Down syndrome. The measure now heads to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who plans to sign it into law.

North Dakota has a similar law in effect prohibiting abortion for genetic anomaly, including Down syndrome, and Utah’s Republican governor signed a similar ban this month. A federal judge blocked a similar measure signed by Kentucky’s governor this month.

Hutchinson this month signed into law an 18-week abortion ban.

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