On Tuesday the organization Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes issued a statement on X (formerly Twitter) criticizing the Arkansas Legislature for providing $2 million to support pregnancy help organizations and maternal and infant wellness in Arkansas.

In April the Arkansas Legislature passed — and Gov. Sanders signed — S.B. 64 by Sen. John Payton (R – Wilburn). This good budget measure provides $2 million in state grant funding for pregnancy help organizations.

The $2 million will be disbursed as grants to pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, adoption agencies, and other organizations that provide material support to women with unplanned pregnancies.

This funding helps serve families at the local level without creating new government programs. The State of Arkansas is expected to start accepting grant applications from pregnancy help organizations in the coming months.

In 2022 and in 2023 Family Council worked with lawmakers and the governor to create this grant program for pregnancy help organizations. Since then more than two dozen good organizations across the state have applied for funding and used it to give women and families real assistance when faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

S.B. 64 makes improvements to the grant program. It increases state funding from $1 million per year to $2 million. This puts Arkansas’ funding on parr with funding in other states.

The law 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.

S.B. 64 also includes language preventing state funds from going to abortionists and their affiliates.

However, Planned Parenthood criticized the funding measure, posting,

There simply shouldn’t be anything controversial about the State of Arkansas awarding taxpayer funds to organizations that provide material support to women and children and that promote maternal wellness.

Fortunately, Arkansas’ lawmakers and governor don’t agree with Planned Parenthood.

Family Council is grateful to the General Assembly for passing S.B. 64, and we appreciate Governor Sanders signing it into law. We look forward to seeing the state implement S.B. 64 in the coming fiscal year.

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