Recently the Arkansas Department of Health announced proposed changes to rules and regulations governing reporting requirements for abortion providers.
Under Arkansas law, doctors who perform abortions must report to the Health Department basic information such as the probable age of each unborn child aborted; the race, age, and marital status of the mother; and so on.
Arkansas’ new Woman’s Right to Know Act of 2015 requires abortion providers to report to the Health Department the number of informed consent certifications received each month. That means the doctor must file a report with the Department of Health each month stating how many women gave their informed consent to having an abortion that month.
This kind of reporting seems mundane, but in fact it helps ensure Arkansas’ laws are being followed.
Arkansas has what may be the strongest informed-consent law for abortion in the country. The law ensures women are given as much information as possible about abortion, its risks, and its alternatives–as well as 48 hours to think things over–before having an abortion.
If a woman decides to go through with the procedure, she must sign a statement giving her informed consent to the abortion. That is what is reflected in these monthly reports.
The proposed changes to the rules and regulations are extremely brief, but they help provide oversight to ensure Arkansas’ informed-consent laws are being honored.
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.