Above: Rep. Nicole Clowney (D – Fayetteville) discusses efforts to introduce legislation in Arkansas to add exceptions to state laws against abortion (Photo Credit: YouTube).

On Tuesday State Representative Nicole Clowney (D – Fayetteville) participated in a discussion panel on abortion at the Fayetteville Public Library.

During the panel, Rep. Clowney said that her colleagues in the general assembly will introduce at least four measures during the upcoming legislative session that would change the exceptions in Arkansas’ abortion law.

Act 180 of 2019 prohibits abortion in Arkansas unless the mother’s life is at risk. It also contains language exempting situations such as ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage.

Rep. Clowney was part of panel hosted by the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville Education Association / Local 965 — a union for employees at the U of A in Fayetteville.

During the panel, Rep. Clowney said she anticipates four different measures amending Act 180 to be introduced during the upcoming legislative session:

  • One measure would add exceptions for rape to the law.
  • A second would add exceptions for incest to the law.
  • A third measure would add exceptions for lethal fetal anomaly to the law.
  • A fourth measure would change the exception for the life of the mother into an exception for abortions “caring for the health of the mother.”

Taken together, these changes would upend the state’s pro-life laws and could open the door to abortion on demand in Arkansas.

In other states, exceptions for a woman’s health or for fetal abnormalities have been interpreted very broadly.

Health exceptions in particular could apply to nearly any situation. That is part of the reason why Arkansas’ pro-life laws historically have exempted situations where the the mother’s life is at risk rather than situations where an abortionist believes her health is somehow being affected by the pregnancy.

These sorts of broad exceptions may effectively permit elective abortions in Arkansas.

As we have written before, rape and incest are evil. A woman who is raped is a victim in every sense of the word, but the unborn baby is totally innocent. Abortion doesn’t heal the wounds that rape or incest leave behind, and sexual predators may actually coerce their victims into having abortions to conceal rape or incest. It is not right to kill an unborn baby because the baby’s father was a rapist.

Public opinion polling shows Arkansans overwhelmingly oppose abortion. Seventy-nine percent of likely voters in Arkansas believe abortion should be either completely illegal — without exception — or legal only under certain circumstances.

Act 180 of 2019 reflects that. It generally prohibits abortion, but it makes exceptions for certain serious medical complications like an ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage and for circumstances when the mother’s life is in jeopardy.

Below is a video recording of Rep. Clowney’s comments regarding legislative efforts to amend Arkansas’ pro-life laws.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.