Arkansas Monitor - March 26

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Dear supporter,

This is the worst attack we’ve seen all session.

So far this year, we’ve gone to bat against a total ban on abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or fatal fetal anomaly. We fought a bill banning abortion after 18 weeks. We spoke out against legislation that forces physicians to tell their patients to search the internet for an untested medical procedure, so-called abortion "reversal."

Despite our best efforts, all of those bills have become law. And, unfortunately, the hits keep on coming.

SB 448 would prohibit qualified physicians from providing safe, legal abortion services unless they are board-certified ob-gyns. The bill sponsor admitted the restriction has nothing to do with safety; abortion is extremely safe in Arkansas, just as it is across the country. The real goal of SB 448 is eliminating access to abortion in Arkansas.

This is important: Tell the House Public Health Committee to vote NO on SB 448.

People across Arkansas have a right to access high-quality health care in a safe, respectful environment — and that includes abortion. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures available; you’re more likely to experience complications from having your wisdom teeth removed. Politicians are trying to prohibit qualified health care providers from offering abortion services without any medical justification. SB 448 would eliminate women’s access to safe, qualified providers, threatening women’s health and lives and by restricting abortion access.

Please, tell the legislature about your opposition to SB 448. Take action now to protect access to sexual and reproductive health care.

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In solidarity,

Gloria Pedro
Arkansas Manager of Public Policy & Organizing
Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes


Bill Tracking

There are only three weeks left until the General Assembly recesses. For up-to-the-minute updates on the legislature, follow us on Twitter and stream the meetings live.

Awaiting House floor vote:

  • HB 1523 (Rep. Rebecca Petty, R-Rogers) ends the practice of shackling incarcerated women who are pregnant. It has passed the Senate.

  • HB 1856 (Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville) bans state funding for abortion or related expenses for those in state custody or guardianship.

Awaiting Senate committee hearing: 

  • HB 1453 (Rep. Clint Penzo, R-Springdale) would make it state policy to encourage women to carry fetuses with a fatal diagnosis to full term. It has passed the House.

  • HB 1440 and HB 1441 (Reps. Deborah Ferguson, D-West Memphis, and Mary Bentley, R-Perryville) are part of an effort to reduce Arkansas' maternal mortality rate by establishing oversight. They have passed the House.

  • HB 1290 (Rep. Aaron Pilkington, R-Clarksville) authorizes pharmacists to provide access to and administration of oral contraceptives. It has passed the House but has been tabled by the committee.

  • HB 1621 (Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville) is an abstinence-only sex education bill. It has passed the House.

  • HB 1664 (Rep. Cindy Crawford, R-Fort Smith) is the Life Choices Lifeline Program.

Awaiting House committee hearing: 

  • HB 1164 (Rep. Aaron Pilkington, R-Clarksville) authorizes pharmacists to dispense oral contraceptives without a prescription. It has failed the committee once.

  • HB 1289 (Rep. Brandt Smith, R-Jonesboro) is similar to the controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act — it would expand the right of doctors not to participate in services that violate their conscience. It has failed the committee once.

  • SB 3 (Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado) is a TRAP law that imposes medically unnecessary reporting requirements on abortion providers in an effort to intimidate and ultimately discredit them. It has passed the Senate.

  • SB 278 (Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch) is a TRAP law that would extend the abortion waiting period to 72 hours. It has passed the Senate.

  • SB 448 (Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch) would require abortion providers to be ob-gyns, creating a barrier to care in Arkansas. It has passed the Senate.

  • SB 2 (Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado) stands in the way of a woman exercising her right to an abortion in the case of a diagnosis of fetal Down syndrome, while doing nothing to address discrimination or ensure that people living with disabilities have access to health care and other services they need. It has passed the Senate.

  • SB 304 (Sen. Will Bond, D-Little Rock) would, among other things, require more comprehensive sex education. It has passed the Senate. 

Signed into law:

  • Act 180 (SB 149, Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway) triggers a total abortion ban if Roe v. Wade is overturned with no exception for rape or incest. Abortion providers would face up to 10 years in prison.

  • Act 493 (HB 1439, Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Springdale), an unconstitutional bill to ban abortion after 18 weeks.

  • Act 522 (SB 341, Sen. Missy Irvin, R-Mountain View) would force physicians to give medically inaccurate and potentially dangerous information about abortion pill "reversal" to patients.


Upcoming Events

Save the date for these upcoming events. 

Little Rock — Trans Day of VisibilityMarch 31, 1:30 - 2:45 p.m.

Fayetteville — Trans Day of VisibilityMarch 31, 3:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Little Rock — 32nd Annual Garden PartyMay 1, 6:00 p.m. — A benefit for Planned Parenthood Great Plains at The Historic Rogers House.

Will you make a gift to support our work in Arkansas?