Arkansas adopted the country's most restrictive ban on abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy Wednesday, The New York Times reported.
The law was passed by the new Republican-controlled legislature over Gov. Mike Beebe's veto, The New York Times reported.
The law contradicts limits by the Supreme Court which allows a woman a right to abortion until the fetus is viable outside the womb, usually around 24 weeks, The New York Times reported.
The Human Heartbeat Protection Act might be quickly voided because it deeply contradicts existing constitutional doctrine, The New York Times reported.
The 12-week ban would ban abortions when the fetus is at a point where a heartbeat can be detected using an abdominal ultrasound, The Associated Press reported.
The original version of the bill by Sen. Jason Rapert would have banned abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy but revised after lawmakers worried about the it requiring the use of a vaginal probe, The Associated Press reported.
Women who have abortions will not be prosecuted but doctors who perform abortions in violation of the 12-week-ban could have their medical licenses revoked, The Associated Press reported.
Ten states have pushed abortion down to 20 weeks into pregnancy on the disputed theory that a fetus can feel pain by then, The New York Times reported.