Arkansas lawmakers are taking multiple actions this spring to protect unborn babies and encourage mothers to choose life over abortion.
On Monday, the state House overwhelmingly approved a bill to require abortion facilities to provide mothers with an ultrasound and description of her unborn baby before she makes a final decision about an abortion, the AP reports. The vote was 74-14.
The pro-life legislation, Senate Bill 85, also passed the state Senate earlier this month, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a pro-life Republican, is expected to sign it.
Currently, Arkansas law requires abortion facilities to offer to show a woman the ultrasound image of her unborn baby. The bill would amend the law to require abortion facilities to “display the ultrasound images so that the pregnant woman may view them,” describe the unborn baby’s development and document the images in the woman’s medical records.
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It also would require the state Department of Health to inspect the records quarterly and fine abortion facilities that fail to comply. Multiple violations could result in a suspension of the abortion facility’s license.
Louisiana, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin have similar laws in place, according to the report.
Pro-abortion groups frequently challenge these laws in court. Right now, Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are trying to overturn a 2020 Iowa law that requires abortion facilities to give women time to reflect and consider information about their unborn babies before going through with an abortion.
Informed consent laws protect unborn babies from abortion, and the abortion industry knows it. Research indicates that when women see ultrasound images of their unborn babies, they are more likely to choose life. A 2017 study out of the University of California San Francisco also suggests that some women do change their minds about abortion as a result of informed consent laws.
Many states require a waiting period prior to an abortion and 35 require informed consent counseling, which typically includes facts about an unborn baby’s development, the risks of abortion and resources about parenting and adoption, according to the Guttmacher Institute.
Earlier this month, Arkansas also passed the Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act, which bans all abortions in the state. However, the American Civil Liberties Union already has announced plans to sue, and the courts are expected to block the state from enforcing the law.
Also this month, the Arkansas House passed legislation to inform mothers about the abortion pill reversal procedure and the risks of abortion drugs.