An Arkansas bill on the way to Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s desk would increase the wait time for women seeking abortions to 72 hours.
The Arkansas Democrat Gazette reports both state houses passed the bill by overwhelming majorities this week; the state House voted 75-13 on Tuesday, and the Senate passed it 29-5 on Thursday.
State Senate Bill 278, sponsored by Sen. Gary Stubblefield, would amend the current informed consent requirements to increase the current waiting period for abortion by another 24 hours.
In the 72 hours leading up to the abortion, the bill would require a woman seeking an abortion to sign a form that includes a description of the patient’s rights, a detailed description of the abortion procedure and the risks of the abortion.
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Waiting periods are an important part of informed consent. They help ensure that women are not being pressured into making a hasty, uninformed decision to abort their unborn child.
Arkansas would be the sixth state with a 72-hour waiting period, the AP reports. The others are Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah.
Arkansas has a solid track record for defending life. In February, the Arkansas House passed a bill with overwhelming support that would ban abortions after 18 weeks.
Pro-life Gov. Asa Hutchinson also signed a bill in February that would ban all abortions in the state after Roe v. Wade is overturned. This law, called The Human Life Protection Act, makes Arkansas one of a few states that would immediately protect the rights of the unborn, should the U.S. Supreme Court decision be overturned.