This past week several excellent, pro-life laws officially took effect in Arkansas. These laws will help protect the lives of unborn children, and they will also ensure abortion clinics are held accountable for their actions.
Below is an overview of some of the laws that passed earlier this year and are now in force.
The Abortion Inducing Drug Safety Act (Act 577 of 2015)
This good law by Rep. Charlene Fite and Sens. Cecile Bledsoe and Linda Collins-Smith requires abortion providers to follow FDA protocols when administering abortion-inducing drugs.
This is significant, because evidence suggests many abortion providers around the country actually have not been following FDA protocols.
Under FDA protocols, abortion-inducing drugs cannot be administered past the seventh week of pregnancy. This has the potential to save unborn children from abortion, and it protects women from unsafe, chemical abortions after the seventh week or pregnancy.
The Arkansas Abortion Parental Involvement Act (Act 934 of 2015)
This good law by Reps. Justin Harris and Robin Lundstrum and Sen. Linda Collins-Smith improves Arkansas’ old law regarding abortions on underage girls.
Under Arkansas law, a doctor performing an abortion on a minor must first obtain parental consent from the girls’ parent or guardian. This law requires the adult signing the parental consent form to provide additional forms of identification verifying their relationship to the girl. This will protect minors from exploitation.
It also requires judges asked to grant a judicial bypass to the parental-consent laws to consider a list of specific factors before granting the exemption, and it requires doctors performing abortions to keep better records on every underage patient.
The Woman’s Right to Know Act (Act 1086 of 2015)
This act by Rep. Lundstrum and Sen. Jim Hendren replaces the Woman’s Right to Know Act of 2001 with a much better law. In fact, many consider it the best informed-consent law in the country.
This law ensures women seeking an abortion are given the full story on abortion, its consequences, and its alternatives. It extends the waiting period for an abortion from “the next day” to a full 48 hours. It ensures information on abortion will be given to women one-on-one, in-person, and in private instead of over the phone or in a group setting. It also requires abortion providers to inform women that chemical abortions may be reversible.
Chemical abortion reversal is cutting-edge science. Two doctors writing for a newspaper in Arizona last spring said,
“Both of us have administered the abortion pill reversal regimen to women who took the first pill, then immediately regretted their decision. Now they have healthy pregnancies. To date, over 80 live births have been recorded of women who underwent the abortion pill reversal, and there are more than 60 healthy pregnancies because of the abortion pill reversal.
“Again, women have a right to know and be told by abortion providers like Planned Parenthood that it may be possible to reverse the abortion pill’s effect. To say that women should be left in the dark on this crucial information suggests that women are better off not knowing all the facts about their abortion.”
This new law will help women choose options besides abortion, and it will further protect women from unsafe or irresponsible abortion practices.
Defunding Abortion Providers (Act 996 of 2015)
Abortion providers like Planned Parenthood receive millions of taxpayer dollars each year. None of that money, however, should be flowing from the State of Arkansas thanks to this good law sponsored by Sen. Gary Stubblefield and Rep. Robin Lundstrum.
Act 996 prevents the state from awarding public funds to entities that perform abortions or abortion referrals; it also applies to affiliates of entities that perform abortions or abortion referrals. This helps prevent your tax dollars and mine from subsidizing abortion.
These were not the only pro-life laws passed this year, but they are among those now in effect. As of this writing, their constitutionality has not been challenged in Arkansas, either.
Laws like these go a long way toward protecting innocent, unborn babies and honoring the sanctity of human life.
Jerry is the founder and president of Family Council. He began Family Council in 1989 after a successful effort to amend the Arkansas Constitution to prevent the use of public funds for abortions. He and his wife reside in Little Rock. They have four sons.