Over the next several weeks, we will feature a weekly post that briefly discusses a pro-life bill that Arkansas needs to move the cause forward. All of the bills we’ll focus on were defeated during this year’s legislative session in the House Public Health Committee. Let’s start with one of the highest profile bills of the session, SB113.
Sen. Cecile Bledsoe (R-Rogers) introduced SB113, which would have prevented public funds in Arkansas from subsidizing abortions in the state-run health insurance exchanges. These exchanges are mandated by Obamacare, but the federal legislation allows states to enact an abortion opt-out. With this in mind, and considering that Amendment 68 to the Arkansas Constitution prohibits public funding of abortions, you’d think that SB113 would have easily passed. However, as was the fate of every pro-life bill but one, SB113 was killed in Rep. Linda Tyler’s House Public Health Committee, dubbed “the death panel” by some observers. Rep. Linda Collins-Smith (R-Pocahontas) filed similar legislation (HB1872) after SB113 was defeated, but there wasn’t enough time to put a strong effort behind it.
An abortion opt-out from Obamacare is essential if we want to prevent taxpayer-funded abortions in Arkansas from becoming a reality under federal healthcare.