Arkansas lawmakers pass 72-hour abortion waiting period

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Arkansas lawmakers have sent the governor legislation requiring women to wait 72 hours before having an abortion, one of the strictest waiting periods in the country.

The majority-Republican Senate on Thursday approved the proposal to expand the current waiting period of 48 hours by a 29-5 vote. The bill now heads to Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who plans to sign it into law.

The bill requires the waiting period between when women are counseled by a physician about the procedure and undergoing it. The legislation will make Arkansas the sixth state with 72-hour waiting period, joining Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah.

The measure is among a flurry of abortion restrictions Arkansas lawmakers approved this year, including an 18-week abortion ban that Hutchinson signed into law last month.

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