LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Senate voted Thursday to prohibit most abortions if a heartbeat is detected, ignoring warnings from opponents that banning the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy would invite lawsuits.

If enacted, the ban would be the most stringent in the nation. The Ohio House passed a similar ban in 2011, but it was sidelined in the Senate last year over concerns that it might be found unconstitutional. Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe told reporters Thursday that's the same concern that he's researching.

"I'm waiting on lawyers. I think that's the big concern right now — does it run afoul of the Supreme Court or constitutional restrictions?" Beebe said. "That's the first thing we're looking at."

The Senate approved the new ban the same day that a House committee advanced two other abortion restrictions, part of a package of legislation anti-abortion groups believe are poised to become law now that Republicans control the state General Assembly.

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