On Thursday the Special Language Subcommittee of the Joint Budget Committee at the Arkansas Legislature passed S.B. 64 by Sen. John Payton (R – Wilburn).

This good bill provides $2 million in state funding for pregnancy help organizations that promote maternal health and provide women with options besides abortion.

In 2022 Family Council worked with the legislature and the governor to secure $1 million for pregnancy centers. This funding provided grants to more than 20 pregnancy help organizations.

Last year we worked with lawmakers to renew this funding. This grant money has gone to more than two dozen good organizations across the state that give women and families real assistance when faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

S.B. 64 would make improvements to the grant program. It would increase state funding from $1 million per year to $2 million. This would put Arkansas’ funding on parr with other states’.

The bill also clarifies that “pregnancy help organizations” include nonprofit organizations that promote infant and maternal wellness and reduce infant and maternal mortality by:

  • Providing nutritional information and/or nutritional counseling;
  • Providing prenatal vitamins;
  • Providing a list of prenatal medical care options;
  • Providing social, emotional, and/or material support; or
  • Providing referrals for WIC and community-based nutritional services, including but not limited to food banks, food pantries, and food distribution centers.

The measure includes language preventing state funds from going to abortionists and their affiliates.

On Thursday the Joint Budget Committee’s Special Language Subcommittee overwhelmingly approved S.B. 64. We appreciate the committee members choosing to support this good legislation.

You can watch Sen. Payton’s presentation of S.B. 64 and the subcommittee vote on the bill below.