Arkansas Senate Passes Bill to Ban Abortions, Would Save Thousands of Babies Every Year

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 23, 2021   |   10:12AM   |   Little Rock, Arkansas

On Monday the Arkansas Senate passed S.B. 6 that would ban abortions in the Natural State and protect thousands of babies from being killed. Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway) and Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville) are the key sponsors of the legislation that the state Senate approved on a 27-7 vote.

The Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act will ban abortions unless it’s to save a mother’s life and the bill now heads to the Republican-controlled state House, which is expected to approve it as well.

“Arkansas is asking and pleading that the U.S. Supreme Court take a look at this and make a decision that once again allows the states to protect human life,” Republican state Sen. Jason Rapert, the bill’s sponsor, said before the vote, according to the AP.

Sen. Bob Ballinger said during the debate that the central question in abortion is whether the baby is a human being worthy of legal protection.

“The question really is, is it a baby or not? Is it a little person or not? If it’s not a little person – what the heck are we doing?” Ballinger stated. “If it is a little human being and we agree with it, it doesn’t matter how they were created.”

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Ballinger told colleagues about good friends he grew up with who had a cousin that was a product of incest. “Should he have been killed because his dad was a creep?” Ballinger questioned.

Planned Parenthood Great Plains opposed the bill and said saving babies is not important during a pandemic.

The bill now heads to the House Public Health, Welfare and Labor House Committee.

The question after House passage would be whether Gov. Asa Hutchinson would sign it. In a statement released to KATV, Hutchinson highlighted that exemptions for rape and incest have been included in the past and he may not support the bill because rape and incest exceptions are not include.

“The legislature has historically included rape and incest as exceptions to abortion prohibitions. It makes sense to add the exceptions because if you are going to do a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, then it is important to have exceptions that the public generally supports. As a former member of Congress, I supported the Hyde amendment that prohibited taxpayer funds from being used for abortions, but it always included the exception language for rape and incest. I will continue to watch how the bill proceeds through the House.”

The Arkansas Family Council supports the bill and told it would save thousands of babies’ lives.

“If enacted, S.B. 6 would save thousands of unborn children every year and give the federal court system an opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade and other pro-abortion decisions,” it said. “This is an opportunity for Arkansas to be a real leader in the effort to end abortion in America. Many people have been saying for almost fifty years that abortion should be illegal. The time has come for us to make it so.”

Below is a breakdown of how the Arkansas Senate voted on S.B. 6.

Voted For S.B. 6

  • Ballinger
  • Beckham
  • Bledsoe
  • Caldwell
  • Clark
  • Davis
  • Dismang
  • Eads
  • English
  • Flippo
  • Garner
  • Gilmore
  • Hammer
  • Hester
  • Hill
  • Irvin
  • Johnson, B.
  • Johnson, M.
  • Pitsch
  • Rapert
  • Rice
  • Sample
  • Stubblefield
  • Sturch
  • Sullivan
  • Teague
  • Wallace

Voted Against S.B. 6

  • Chesterfield
  • Elliot
  • Flowers
  • Hickey
  • Ingram
  • Leding
  • Tucker

Voted “Present” on S.B. 6

  • Hendren