Arkansas governor signs 'sex-selection' abortion ban bill

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed a measure that would impose fines and prison time on doctors who perform abortions that are based solely on whether the mother wants to have a boy or girl.

The measure was signed Wednesday.

A physician performing the abortion would ask the patient if she knows the sex of the child. If she does, the doctor must let her know that it's illegal to have an abortion based solely on gender.

Doctors who violate the ban could face up to a year in prison and up to a $2,500 fine, as well as civil penalties. The woman who receives or attempts to receive the abortion wouldn't face any criminal charges.

The Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights research center, says seven other states ban abortion for the purpose of gender selection.

The legislation would take effect in 2018.