Bill Filed to Maintain Fairness in Women’s Sports in Arkansas

Sen. Irvin announces S.B. 354 at the Arkansas Capitol.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 25, 2021

On Thursday, the Arkansas Republican Women’s Caucus launched their Dream BIG legislative package. Senator Missy Irvin (R – Mountain View) and Representative Sonia Barker (R – Smackover) filed SB354, the Fairness in Women’s Sports Act as part of the legislative package they presented.

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement saying, “Senator Irvin has filed a great bill. All over the country we’ve seen biological males who claim to be female compete unfairly in women’s sports. Allowing males to compete in girls’ sports reverses almost 50 years of advances for women. Destroying girls’ athletics hampers girls’ abilities to compete for athletic scholarships and hurts their professional opportunities as adults. SB354 prevents this from happening in Arkansas.”

Cox said SB354 is necessary to preserve fairness in women’s sports and letting boys compete in girls’ sports puts girls at a distinct disadvantage. “Boys who compete against girls in athletics have a physical advantage. Science and common sense tell us male athletes generally are bigger, faster, and stronger. Their hearts and lungs are larger. They have denser bones and stronger muscles.”

Cox said we are pleased that the Arkansas Republican Women’s Caucus is pushing back against federal pressure to let boys compete against girls. “President Biden has already issued an executive order indicating his administration believes biological males should be able to compete against females in sports. We expect the federal government to pressure schools to let boys compete in girls’ athletics in the coming months. When that happens, this bill gives Arkansas’ public schools a tool they can use to push back.”

Family Council fully supports SB354. “The Fairness in Women’s Sports Act that Senator Irvin, Representative Barker, and the Arkansas Republican Women’s Caucus has filed is a great bill. We hope the Arkansas Legislature will pass it and Governor Hutchinson will sign it into law,” said Cox.

Family Council is a conservative education and research organization based in Little Rock.

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Bill Filed to Strengthen State Law On Abortion Facilities

On Wednesday Sen. Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro), Rep. Joe Cloud (R – Russellville), and Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R – Springdale) filed S.B. 388 amending Arkansas law concerning abortion facilities.

The bill requires any facility that performs abortions to be licensed by the Arkansas Department of Health as an abortion facility, and it prohibits abortions in hospitals except in cases of medical emergency.

Under current law, a facility does not have to be licensed as an abortion facility unless it performs ten or more abortions in any given month.

That means a clinic could perform up to nine abortions per month — or 108 abortions per year — without being licensed and inspected as an abortion facility.

Arkansas currently has two licensed abortion facilities — both of which are in Little Rock — but it’s possible some abortions are taking place at unlicensed facilities around the state.

S.B. 388 will help ensure that every clinic that performs abortions follows all of Arkansas’ laws concerning abortion facilities. This has the potential to save many women and unborn children from abortion.

Read The Bill Here.

Arkansas House Passes Good Bill Addressing Marijuana Advertising

On Tuesday the Arkansas House of Representatives passed H.B. 1353 addressing medical marijuana advertising in Arkansas.

This good bill by Rep. Delia Haak (R – Gentry) and Sen. Cecile Bledsoe (R – Rogers) says that marijuana dispensaries and cultivators cannot use a cross of any color or other symbols commonly associated with the practice of medicine in their advertisements.

Current state law says marijuana dispensaries and cultivators cannot use medical symbols in signs on their property, but it fails to address other types of advertising.

H.B. 1353 closes this loophole in state law.

The bill passed with 78 votes in the Arkansas House; only nine representatives voted against the bill.

The measure now goes to the Arkansas Senate.

See how your state representative voted here.