Arkansas Monitor - May 13

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Dear supporter,

Thank you.

It was a difficult legislative session for supporters of sexual and reproductive rights in Arkansas: The General Assembly passed nine pieces of anti-abortion legislation and a bill supporting abstinence-only sex education. 

But there is a silver lining: You took action.

More than any time in recent memory, supporters like you took action to contact legislators. You sent thousands of messages and had hundreds of conversations telling our elected officials we won't go back. We're building power in Arkansas, and it's all thanks to you.

Our work is just beginning. We know who our opponents are, and we know who our champions are. It's time to hold our legislators accountable for their votes, and I'm asking you again to stand with me and women across Arkansas. Please consider making a gift today to support Planned Parenthood and the fight ahead.

I'll be in touch soon with ways to get involved. You can see a full wrap-up of the legislation we followed this session below.

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In solidarity,

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


Laws Passed in 2019

Progressive legislation:

  • Act 566 (HB 1523, Rep. Rebecca Petty, R-Rogers) ends the practice of shackling incarcerated women who are pregnant.

  • Act 829 and Act 1032 (HB 1440 & 1441, Reps. Deborah Ferugson, D-West Memphis, and Mary Bentley, R-Perryville) are part of an effort to reduce Arkansas' maternal and infant mortality rates by establishing oversight.

Regressive legislation:

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

  • Act 493 (HB 1439, Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Springdale), bans abortion after 18 weeks.

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

  • Act 619 (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.

  • Act 620 (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.

  • Act 700 (SB 448, Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch) requires abortion providers to be board-certified or board-eligible ob-gyns, creating a barrier to care in Arkansas.

  • Act 801 (SB 278, Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch) is a TRAP law that extends the abortion waiting period to 72 hours.

  • Act 841 (HB 1621, Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville) mandates abstinence-only sex education bill.

  • Act 953 (HB 1453, Rep. Clint Penzo, R-Springdale) makes it state policy to encourage women to carry a fetus with a fatal diagnosis to full term.

  • Act 1057 (HB 1856, Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville) bans state funding for abortion or related expenses for people in state custody or guardianship.

Thank you for standing with Planned Parenthood. Please consider making a gift today to support our work in Arkansas.