Arkansas is not only among the most pro-life states in America, it continues to pass protective legislation that as much as possible hedges in the “right” to abortion while enacting measures to protect and inform abortion-minded women.
Over the weekend, Rachel Herzog provided an exceptionally thorough review of what pro-lifers in the state, led by Arkansas Right to Life, have accomplished. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette is an unbridled pro-abortion publication, but by and large Ms. Herzog did an admirable job.
It’s a lengthy overview but whether you live in Arkansas or not, it is very much worth reading. Why?
Some reasons are obvious, beginning with how encouraging it is to read how Arkansas has circumscribed abortion in such a creative and thorough manner. Put another way, it’s good to know creating a pro-life legislative environment can be accomplished in a multifaceted way.
Another reason is that the story allows sponsors of various laws to explain what was behind their thinking. Pro-abortionists get to misrepresent the law, both its impact and potential effect, but pro-lifers can counter with the truth. For example, Herzog writes
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Act 787 requires an abortion provider to report a rape or incest to law enforcement officials if a patient attempts to terminate a pregnancy resulting from the crime. It also adds the reporting requirement to sections of the code dealing with exemptions in state law that allow abortions in cases of rape or incest.
Pro-abortionists label this a ‘trap law.’ Not at all.
“This is not to shame the victims,” but rather to hold accountable those who are victimizing someone, the sponsor, Sen. Blake Johnson, R-Corning, told a legislative committee in March. “This helps us in our reporting and data collection.”
Or the new ultrasound law. The new law, Herzog explains,
requires the doctor to provide a simultaneous verbal explanation and medical description of what the ultrasound is depicting, including the presence and location of the fetus, the number of fetuses depicted, the dimensions of the fetus and the presence of external members and internal organs if present and viewable. The doctor also must document in the patient’s medical record that the ultrasound images were displayed.
According to Herzog, Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, R-Rogers, said in March, “This is for her edification, for her knowledge, because there are so many myths and misnomers out there about abortion.” In addition, “The patient has the option to look away, Bledsoe said.”
One pro-life advocate explains that laws such as the “Arkansas Unborn Child Protection Act” may take years to litigate, which is not uncommon given how much money and legal muscle pro-abortionists have at their disposal. But, as Herzog observes,
Barring enjoinment by the courts, laws passed in the 2021 session that don’t have emergency clauses [meaning they went into effect immediately] or specify another effective date will go into effect July 28, according to an opinion issued May 20 by Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge.
In other words, of the array of laws, some will (or already have) go into effect soon. Each of those pieces of legislation tackle a different component of the Abortion Industry.
Here’s one illustration from Herzog:
Act 90, officially titled the “Every Mom Matters Act,” aims to reduce the number of abortions in the state by requiring women seeking an abortion to first call a hotline informing them of services they can receive if they remain pregnant. The requirement goes into effect Jan. 1, 2023.
The legislation mandates that the Health Department establish the hotline, though it doesn’t include funding for the agency to do so.
The law’s sponsor, Rep. Jim Dotson, R-Bentonville, has estimated the cost of implementing the program at $1.2 million to $1.5 million, based on the figures of similar programs in other states, while Health Department officials told a legislative committee that it would cost $4 million to $5 million.
Dotson said the law was inspired by an organization that does something similar in Texas.
Cross-fertilization, in other words. One pro-life state learns from another and vice-versa. Can’t get much better than that.
“The success of pro-life legislation is due to the broad grassroots support of prolife groups, pro-life lawmakers and pro-life network working together in defense of innocent unborn babies in our state,” said Rose Mimms, executive director of Arkansas Right to Life. “Our united goal is to protect both mother and child from the tragedy of legal abortion. We won’t rest until all are saved.”
Take a few minutes out and read “Array of new Arkansas laws focus on abortion.” You’ll be glad you did.
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in his National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.