Arkansas Senate Passes Religious Freedom Bill

This morning the Arkansas Senate passed H.B. 1228, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

This good bill is modeled on federal law as well as laws in 21 other states. It simply affirms the traditional understanding of the free exercise of religion and prevent religious liberty from further erosion.

The bill passed with 24 senators voting for it; 7 senators voting against; 2 senators not voting; and one senator voting “Present.”

The bill now goes back to the Arkansas House of Representatives for concurrence in the amendments made to it in the Arkansas Senate; after that, it will go to Governor Hutchinson, who has said he will sign it.

You can see how your senator voted here.

Pro-Life Parental-Involvement Bill Goes to Governor

Late yesterday afternoon the Arkansas Senate passed pro-life bill H.B. 1424.

This good bill strengthens Arkansas’ parental involvement laws concerning minors who seek an abortion.

Right now, Arkansas law requires abortion-providers to obtain parental-consent before performing an abortion on a minor; however, the law does not adequately ensure the person signing the parental-consent form is a parent.

H.B. 1424 inserts additional provisions into the law that will help verify the identity of the person signing the parental-consent form. This will help protect minors from exploitation by adults posing as their parents or legal guardians. It will also better ensure parents or legal guardians are involved when a young girl is seeking an abortion.

Parents have a vested interest in the health and safety of their children, and we believe when parents are involved, they are more likely to help their daughter understand abortion, its risks, and its alternatives–potentially saving the lives of unborn children.

The bill passed the Arkansas Senate, with 24 senators voting for it; 1 senator voting against it; and 9 senators not voting. It now goes to Governor Hutchinson to be signed into law.

You can see how your senator voted here.

You can see how your representative voted here.

Bill De-Funding Abortion Providers Goes to Governor

stubblefield_gLate yesterday the Arkansas House passed a good, pro-life bill.

S.B. 569 by Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Branch) prevents the state from awarding grants to abortion-providers or their affiliates.

The bill passed, with 70 representatives voting for it; 8 voting against; 21 not voting; and one representative voting “Present.”

You may recall that abortion-providers in Arkansas have received grants in the past to conduct various activities and even applied to be “navigators” under Obamacare. Many consider this to be an indirect funding of abortion. By giving abortion-providers public dollars to pay staff, cover overhead, and conduct various activities, it makes it that much easier for them to keep performing abortions.

S.B. 569 stops this indirect funding of abortion in Arkansas. It keeps your tax dollars and mine from going to these groups and their affiliates, and it keeps our state out of the abortion business.

The bill now goes to Governor Hutchinson to be signed into law.

You can see how your state representative voted here.

You can see how your state senator voted here.