Arkansas Monitor - March 5


Dear supporter,

They're trying to do it in secret because they know what they're doing is wrong.

Last Wednesday, the Senate Public Health Committee called a surprise meeting in the afternoon. With barely a quorum and few people in the room, Sen. Irvin passed SB 341, her medication abortion "reversal" misinformation bill. There is no scientific or medical evidence that proves that reversing a medication abortion is possible or even safe for women. Regardless, Sen. Irvin's bill was placed on the Senate calendar late the next day and considered at an especially early session of the Senate. There were less than 18 hours between its hearing in committee and passing the Senate.

Our allies were prepared, however. Sens. Ingram and Elliott peppered Sen. Irvin with questions about SB 341's requirement that doctors tell their patients to search the internet if they have questions about how to “reverse” an abortion. SB 341 sets a dangerous precedent around the relationship between women and their doctors — and it could put women's health at risk. 

Patients seeking health care deserve honest and accurate medical advice, not politically motivated misinformation. Tell the House Public Health Committee to vote NO on SB 341.

Most of the bills we're following still have to pass through this committee before they can become law (details below). The more power we can show now, the better we can fight back in the future. These legislatiors need to know that we're watching, and they need to know what we believe.

Your voice needs to be heard. Send a message to the committee now.


In solidarity,

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

Bill Tracking

For up-to-the-minute updates on the legislature, follow us on Twitter and stream the meetingslive.

Awaiting Senate committee hearing: (Wedesdays at 10:00 a.m.)

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • SB 278 (Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch) is a TRAP law that would extend the abortion waiting period to 72 hours and increase Arkansas' "informed consent" requirements.

  • SB 448 (Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch) would require abortion providers to be OB/GYNs, creating a barrier to care in Northwest Arkansas.

  • HB 1439 (Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Springdale) is an unconstitutional bill to ban abortion after 18 weeks without exceptions for rape, incest, or fatal fetal anomaly. It has passed the House.

  • 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, & 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.

Awaiting House committee hearing: (Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m.)

  • 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.

  • HB 1164 (Rep. Aaron Pilkington, R-Clarksville) authorized pharmacists to dispense oral contraceptives without a prescription.

  • 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. 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 excpetion for rape or incest. Doctors who perform abortions would face up to 10 years in prison.

We're also watching:

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

  • HB 1523 (Rep. Rebecca Petty, R-Rogers) ends the practice of shackling incarcerated women when they are pregnant (House Governmental Affairs).

Lobby Day

We are so grateful to those of you who joined us for our Lobby Day last Wednesday and connected face-to-face with state legislators to voice your concerns about proposed legislation. The energy and enthusiasm of the group was palpable, and we salute each of the 34 attendees. Together, we spoke with 26 legislators about SB 3, SB 278 and SB 1439!



Upcoming Events

The BASH! — Fayetteville

A benefit for Planned Parenthood Great Plains

March 14, 6:00 p.m.

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32nd Annual Garden Party — Little Rock

A benefit for Planned Parenthood Great Plains

May 1, 6:00 p.m.

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