On Thursday the Arkansas House Public Health Committee passed a bill that repeals licensing requirements for abortion facilities in Arkansas law.

S.B. 138 by Sen. Missy Irvin (R – Mountain View) and Rep. Rebecca Burkes (R – Lowell) eliminates a provision in Arkansas law that says any facility that performs abortions must be licensed by the Arkansas Department of Health.

At Thursday’s committee meeting, Rep. Burkes and Arkansas Department of Health liaison Matt Gilmore said the state should repeal the licensing requirement, because abortion is now prohibited in Arkansas except to save the life of the mother.

Family Council staff member Luke McCoy testified against S.B. 138 in the House Public Health Committee. McCoy pointed out that Arkansas’ abortion facility licensing requirement is tied to at least 15-19 other provisions related to abortion in state code, and that repealing the licensing requirement could have unintended consequences for those good laws if abortion were once again made legal by a state or federal court decision or law.

Family Council asked lawmakers to amend the bill to clarify that the state would require abortion facilities to be licensed if abortion were ever reinstated in Arkansas. The bill was not amended to address Family Council’s concerns.

S.B. 138 now goes to the Arkansas House of Representatives for a vote.

You Can Read S.B. 138 Here.

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