House Passes Contraceptive Bill

This afternoon the Arkansas House of Representatives narrowly passed H.B. 1290 by Rep. Aaron Pilkington (R – Clarksville) and Sen. Bart Hester (R – Cave Springs).

The bill lets pharmacists give oral contraceptives to women without a prescription from a doctor.

Family Council opposes the bill primarily for two reasons.

First, oral contraceptives carry a number of health risks — including heart attack, blood clots in the lungs, and bleeding in the brain. That’s why these pills currently require a prescription from a doctor. Letting pharmacists dispense them without the oversight of a physician jeopardizes women’s health.

Second, according to the federal Food and Drug Administration, oral contraceptives can cause the death of an unborn child. These drugs not only prevent the conception of unborn children, but they can also stop an unborn child from implanting inside the mother’s womb, causing the child to die and be miscarried. The fact that these drugs can cause the death of an unborn child makes this a human life issue.

The bill was amended last week before the House Public Health Committee passed it, and now there are concerns that some of the changes made to the bill may make it possible for pharmacists to refer women to abortion facilities like Planned Parenthood when they dispense birth control pills.

The bill now goes to the Arkansas Senate Public Health Committee. Below is a breakdown of how the Arkansas House voted today.

The Following Representatives Voted Against the Bill

Rep. Rick Beck
Rep. Stan Berry
Rep. Harlan Breaux
Rep. Joe Cloud
Rep. Cameron Cooper
Rep. Marsh Davis
Rep. Gary Deffenbaugh
Rep. Brian Evans
Rep. Lanny Fite
Rep. Jack Fortner
Rep. Mickey Gates
Rep. Lee Johnson
Rep. Jasen Kelly
Rep. Mark Lowery
Rep. Julie Mayberry
Rep. Gayla McKenzie
Rep. Ron McNair
Rep. Stephen Meeks
Rep. John Payton
Rep. Clint Penzo
Rep. Keith Slape
Rep. Brandt Smith
Rep. Nelda Speaks
Rep. Dan Sullivan
Rep. Les Warren
Rep. Danny Watson
Rep. Carlton Wing
Rep. Richard Womack
Rep. Jim Wooten

The Following Representatives Voted For the Bill

Rep. Fred Allen
Rep. Mary Bentley
Rep. Charles Blake
Rep. Justin Boyd
Rep. Karilyn Brown
Rep. LeAnne Burch
Rep. Sarah Capp
Rep. Frances Cavenaugh
Rep. Craig Christiansen
Rep. Nicole Clowney
Rep. Bruce Coleman
Rep. Andrew Collins
Rep. Andy Davis
Rep. Jana Della Rosa
Rep. Jim Dotson
Rep. Dan Douglas
Rep. Deborah Ferguson
Rep. Kenneth Ferguson
Rep. David Fielding
Rep. Vivian Flowers
Rep. Denise Garner
Rep. Jimmy Gazaway
Rep. Don Glover
Rep. Megan Godfrey
Rep. Justin Gonzales
Rep. Michelle Gray
Rep. Spencer Hawks
Rep. David Hillman
Rep. Grant Hodges
Rep. Monte Hodges
Rep. Steve Hollowell
Rep. Joe Jett
Rep. Jack Ladyman
Rep. Fred Love
Rep. Roger Lynch
Rep. Stephen Magie
Rep. Austin McCollum
Rep. Tippi McCullough
Rep. Josh Miller
Rep. Reginald Murdock
Rep. Milton Nicks
Rep. Mark Perry
Rep. Rebecca Petty
Rep. Aaron Pilkington
Rep. Jay Richardson
Rep. Chris Richey
Rep. Laurie Rushing
Rep. Johnny Rye
Rep. Jamie Scott
Rep. Stu Smith
Rep. DeAnn Vaught
Rep. John Walker
Rep. Jeff Wardlaw
Rep. David Whitaker

The Following Representatives Voted “Present” (Did Not Vote For the Bill or Against the Bill)

Rep. Sonia Barker
Rep. Ken Bragg
Rep. Cindy Crawford
Rep. Carol Dalby
Rep. Charlene Fite
Rep. Mike Holcomb
Rep. Robin Lundstrum
Rep. Jim Sorvillo
Rep. Dwight Tosh

The Following Representatives Were Absent or Did Not Vote

Rep. Bruce Cozart
Rep. Les Eaves
Rep. Jon Eubanks
Rep. Doug House
Rep. Lane Jean
Rep. John Maddox
Rep. Marcus Richmond
Rep. Matthew Shepherd

FDA Contracts With Company to Use Aborted Fetal Remains in Research

In August of 2016 the National Institutes of Health announced it wanted to use public funds for research to create human-animal hybrids or “chimeras.” The goal was to inject human stem cells into modified animal embryos in hopes of discovering new cures or “growing” human organs for transplant patients.

At the time the news sounded like nothing less than something out of a supermarket tabloid. Two years later, however, we’ve learned the Food and Drug Administration is apparently contracting with a group in California to inject mice with tissue obtained from aborted babies.

In June the FDA announced it was awarding a contract to Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc., “to acquire Tissue for Humanized Mice.”

The announcement went on to say “[Advanced Bioscience Resources, Inc.] is the only company that can provide the human fetal tissue needed to continue the ongoing research being led by the FDA. Fresh human tissues are required for implantation into severely immune-compromised mice to create chimeric animals that have a human immune system.”

In other words, Advanced Bioscience Resources will be providing the FDA with fetal tissue that it can use in research — and the fetal tissue almost certainly is being harvested from aborted babies.

The Congressional Research Office writes,

Fetal tissue used in research is obtained from elective abortions. Under certain rare circumstances, fetal tissue may also be obtained from a  miscarriage, also called a spontaneous abortion, or following the removal of an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when an embryo has implanted outside the uterus. Because the timing or recognition of a spontaneous abortion or ectopic pregnancy is unpredictable, and both conditions may result in a serious health emergency for the woman, the fetal tissue collected under these circumstances is often not suitable for research purposes.

This is not the first time researchers have used organs and tissue harvested from aborted babies. For example:

  • In 2012 PepsiCo came under fire for contracting with a company that used cell lines obtained from aborted babies in order to test food flavors.
  • In 2015 undercover videos showed Planned Parenthood officials negotiating the sale of aborted fetal remains with investigators.
  • Many common vaccines are manufactured using cell lines obtained from aborted babies.
  • Some medical treatments involving “adult” stem cells actually use stem cells harvested from aborted children.

Not surprisingly, pro-life groups are calling on the FDA to terminate this latest contract for aborted fetal remains.

Cathy Ruse, Family Research Council’s Senior Fellow for Legal Studies, issued a statement saying,

“It is difficult to imagine anything more shocking or upsetting than the U.S. government soliciting bids from traffickers in the remains of infant victims of abortion. Every part of this transaction is a tragedy. A woman is driven to abort her baby, too often by coercion or abandonment, and there in the shadows is a government contractor waiting to tear apart the baby’s body to deliver pieces in exchange for payment.

“The House Appropriations Committee recently approved a Labor/HHS bill with a provision that restricts HHS from funding fetal tissue research using aborted babies. We agree with that restriction, and do not believe that HHS and the FDA should approve research of this kind. The FDA owes the American people an explanation as to how such a contract could have been approved. Americans demand to have a more ethical government—one that does not traffic in the remains of human beings,” concluded Ruse.

In a statement to LifeNews, Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser said the “use of aborted babies’ body parts for gratuitous, unethical experiments is simply horrifying.”

Live Action Founder and President, Lila Rose, wrote,

The FDA’s purchasing of fetal tissue from aborted babies is immoral and horrific, violating human dignity and implicating the American taxpayer in the gruesome trade of human body parts. By issuing a contract to acquire human fetal tissue, the FDA is using American tax dollars to pay for human body parts that can only be acquired from aborted babies. These children deserved care and protection, but instead were violently stripped of their fundamental rights and are now being sold piecemeal. The company that the FDA is doing business with, Advanced Bio Resources (ABR), is currently under federal investigation for colluding with Planned Parenthood to sell aborted baby body parts for profit. We call on the FDA to terminate its contract with ABR immediately and cease the experimentation on the bodies of aborted children.

We agree. Buying and selling aborted fetal remains turns babies into commodities, and scientific research that costs unborn children their lives is simply unthinkable. Taxpayers should not have to subsidize such unethical research. The federal government needs to end this project right away.