LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - An Arkansas lawmaker proposing to ban most abortions in the state says he wasn't referring to race when he told an audience in 2011 that he didn't want "minorities to run roughshod" over their beliefs.

Republican State Sen. Jason Rapert of Conway on Monday defended the remarks that he made at a Tea Party rally in front of the Capitol and said footage of the speech was being selectively used to portray him as racist. The Nation first reported Rapert's comments on Friday.

Rapert told reporters he was referring to political minorities and not racial minorities.

Rapert is the chief sponsor of legislation that would ban most abortions if a fetal heartbeat is detected. The Senate last week approved the measure and it's now pending before a House committee.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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