Tuesday afternoon, the Arkansas House Committee on Public Health voted down the Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act, HB2159 by Rep. Stubblefield. The bill would have clarified that a woman has the right to defend her unborn child from a criminal assault. Similar legislation passed by an overwhelming majority in Oklahoma and Missouri not too long ago.
The bill failed by two votes—just as Rep. Mayberry’s fetal pain bill did last Thursday. Below is a breakdown of the vote.
Voted Against the Bill
Pennartz, Tracy (D-65) Telephone: 479-285-4800
Leding, Greg (D-92) Telephone: 479-422-8099
Perry, Mark (D-44) Telephone: 501-982-4561
Lovell, Buddy (D-56) Telephone: 870-358-4104
Word, James L. (D-16) Telephone: 870-543-6391
Voted For the Bill
Gaskill, Billy W. (D-78) Telephone: 870-239-4383
Wardlaw, Jeff (D-8) Telephone: 870-226-9501
Lampkin, Sheilla E. (D-10) Telephone: 870-723-6449
Wagner, Charolette (D-77) Telephone: 870-561-4600
King, Bryan B. (R-91) Telephone: 870-438-4565
Lea, Andrea (R-68) Telephone: 479-967-4922
Malone, Stephanie (R-64) Telephone: 479-452-4554
Mayberry, Andy (R-27) Telephone: 501-888-3522
Woods, Jon (R-93) Telephone: 479-200-3100
Did Not Vote
Smith, Garry L. (D-7) Telephone: 870-574-1792
Wilkins, Butch (D-74) Telephone: 870-972-5503
Hall, Clark (D-13) Telephone: 870-829-3382
Hyde, Barry (D-40) Telephone: 501-371-0255
Allen, Fred (D-33) Telephone: 501-225-4979
Tyler, Linda S. (D-45) Telephone: 501-329-8644
Opponents on the Committee
Reps. Leding, Perry, and Lovell voted against Rep. Mayberry’s bill last Thursday. They seem to be shaping up as some of the staunchest opponents of pro-life legislation on the Health Committee.
What Will They Pass?
I’m afraid this does not bode well for any pro-life legislation. HB2159 really had nothing to do with abortion. It was “pro-life” in the sense that it protected the life and welfare of a pregnant woman and her child. It just said that a pregnant woman can defend her unborn child from a criminal assault the same way she can a child that has already been born.
The absence of a law like this led to the imprisonment of a Michigan woman after she used lethal force against her boyfriend who punched her in the stomach, causing her to miscarry. The woman was sentenced to prison for manslaughter, and had to wait 2 years before her sentence was overturned on appeal. This bill would have ensured no Arkansas woman would ever face similar consequences for defending her unborn child.
The committee did finally pass one pro-life bill yesterday, but they soon voted down another. One has to ask: If the representatives on the House Public Health Committee won’t pass legislation as sensible as HB2159, what will they pass?