On Wednesday the Senate Public Health Committee at the Arkansas Legislature failed to pass a measure ensuring employers that pay for employees to have abortions would also offer paid maternity leave to their employees.

H.B. 1006 by Rep. Aaron Pilkington (R – Knoxville) and Sen. Kim Hammer (R – Benton) would require an employer that offers coverage for abortion expenses to also offer 12 weeks of paid maternity leave.

The bill passed with 80 votes in the Arkansas House of Representatives last week, but it failed on a voice vote in the Senate Public Health Committee on Wednesday morning.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade last summer, corporations like Walmart have announced plans to pay for employees to have abortions.

Some cover travel expenses — such as if a woman from Arkansas travels across state lines to have an abortion.

While many companies have made it clear that they support abortion and oppose the overturn of Roe v. Wade, it is possible that some are comparing the cost of abortion coverage against the cost of paid maternity leave.

In Arkansas, 12 weeks of paid maternity leave for a full time employee earning minimum wage would cost a company approximately $5,280.

An abortion procedure could cost as little as $500 – $900.

Even with coverage for travel expenses, it may be cheaper for employers to pay for abortions than for maternity leave.

The Arkansas Legislature will remain in session for the next several weeks.

That means lawmakers may have other opportunities to pass H.B. 1006 before they adjourn.

You Can Read H.B. 1006 Here.

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