On Tuesday Gov. Hutchinson signed S.B. 388 into law. The measure is now Act 949 of 2021.
This good law by Sen. Charles Beckham (R – McNeil) and Rep. Joe Cloud (R – Russellville) requires any facility that performs abortions to be licensed by the Arkansas Department of Health as an abortion facility.
Act 949 also prohibits abortions in hospitals except in cases of medical emergency.
Under current law, clinics are not required to be licensed or inspected as abortion facilities unless they perform more than ten abortions in a month.
That means that a clinic potentially could perform upwards of 100 or more abortions per year without being licensed or inspected by the State of Arkansas as an abortion facility.
Act 949 addresses this shortcoming in Arkansas law.
This will make it easier for the Arkansas Department of Health to enforce the good, pro-life laws that legislators have implemented over the years. It will ensure that every clinic that performs abortions is licensed and inspected, and that Arkansas’ laws against abortion are properly followed.
Act 949 will make it easier for the Arkansas Department of Health to identify and shut down facilities performing occasional abortions if the facilities aren’t complying with Arkansas’ other pro-life laws.
This is a pro-life law that has the potential to do a lot of good in Arkansas.