Sen. Rapert, Rep. Bentley File Texas-Style Pro-Life Measure in Arkansas

Sen. Rapert, left, filed a Texas-style pro-life law at the Arkansas Legislature on Tuesday.

On Tuesday Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) and Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville) filed S.B. 13, the Arkansas Human Heartbeat and Human Life Civil Justice Act.

The bill enacts pro-life legislation in Arkansas that is very similar to the heartbeat law that Texas passed earlier this year.

Texas’ pro-life law has generally stopped abortion in that state.

S.B. 13 prohibits abortion in Arkansas, except to save the life of the mother.

If passed, the bill would let any Arkansas resident file a lawsuit against anyone who performs an abortion or who directly aids or abets an abortion.

News articles indicate that since abortion facilities in Texas closed, a growing number of women have travelled to Arkansas for abortions. Without S.B. 13, Arkansas could see more women cross state lines for abortions.

S.B. 13 is a good bill that will prevent abortion in Arkansas.

You Can Read S.B. 13 Here.

Arkansas’ Abortion Rate Cut In Half Since 2001: CDC Report

A new report from the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows Arkansas’ abortion rate has been cut by more than half since the year 2001.

The abortion rate is calculated as the number of abortions performed in a state for every 1,000 women ages 15 – 44. It’s a way to measure how prevalent abortion is in a state by comparing the total number of abortions to the state’s female population.

In Arkansas’ case, the abortion rate was 11 abortions per 1,000 women ages 15 – 44 in 2001.

However, the CDC’s new report shows Arkansas’ abortion rate has fallen to 5.1 as of 2019.

Overall, Arkansas’ abortion rate has been in decline since the 1990s.

The CDC hasn’t released 2020 abortion data yet, but based on statistics the Arkansas Department of Health published last summer, Family Council estimates that Arkansas’ abortion rate may have increased slightly last year — from 5.1 in 2019 to 5.4 in 2020.

Even though Arkansas’ abortion rate may have risen slightly last year, it’s drastically lower than it was in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Slowly but surely Arkansans are winning the fight against abortion.

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton Introduces Measure to Expand Family Leave, Provide Tax Credit for Miscarriages and Stillbirths

On Thursday U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R – AR) and U.S. Sen. Ashley Hinson (R – IA) filed the HEALING Mothers and Fathers Act.

The proposed legislation amends the federal 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

Among other things, the measure adds “spontaneous loss of an unborn child” as a qualifying medical condition for leave under FMLA, and it establishes a $3,600 tax credit for any mother or couple that suffers the loss of a child in the womb.

The bill also prevents federal Title X funds from going to abortionists or to anyone who offers abortion referrals.

This would help stem the tide of taxpayer funds currently directed to organizations like Planned Parenthood.

Family Council has joined with Arkansas Right to Life, the National Right to Life Committee, and other pro-life organizations in endorsing this good measure.

Sen. Cotton issued multiple statements explaining the HEALING Mothers and Fathers Act , writing,

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows employees to take leave for serious health conditions. However, many miscarriages and still births fail to meet the definition for a ‘serious health condition’ under FMLA, meaning the mother and her spouse may not qualify for leave.

In the event of a still birth, parents are more likely to face unexpected financial costs. This is due to uninsured
expenses, costs associated with preparing for a baby, and in some cases, longer hospital stays, genetic testing
costs, and burial expenses.

No amount of financial compensation can take away a family’s pain. However, Congress can ensure that
grieving parents can take time to mourn the loss of their unborn child and ease additional costs they may face
in the event of still birth.

The HEALING Mothers and Fathers Act is similar to Arkansas’ Act 935 of 2021 — also known as Paisley’s Law — which the Arkansas Legislature enacted earlier this year.

Act 935 provides Arkansans with a $500 income tax credit for the stillbirth of a child at or after 20 weeks gestation.

Arkansas also has enacted legislation over the years to de-fund abortionists.

You can read the HEALING Mothers and Fathers Act here.

Photo Credit: Michael Vadon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.