Tuesday marks the 46th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S.
A state lawmaker plans to file legislation on the same day, known as a trigger law, that would ban the practice in Arkansas if SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade.
“I’ve actually had conversations in the last couple of days with some of the legal scholars that have worked on the issue for 40 years, and they actually believe that states need to prepare because they think in the next two years, Roe v. Wade could be overturned,” said St. Sen. Jason Rapert, R-Conway. “Arkansas would protect the lives of unborn children.”
As the debate continues in the Natural State, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota and South Dakota have already implemented a similar law.
Rapert placed one exception in his bill to protect the life of a mother in an emergency medical situation.
During the 2019 session, the legislature will consider other abortion-related bills including:
Senate Bill 2, sponsored by St. Sen. Trent Garner, R-El Dorado, would make it illegal for an expectant mother to get an abortion because the unborn child has or may have Down syndrome.
Senate Bill 3, also sponsored by Sen. Garner, would require additional reporting requirements for doctors and health care facilities when a patient has complications from an abortion.
House Bill 1164, sponsored by St. Rep. Aaron Pilkington, R-Clarksville, would allow women 18 and older to get birth control without a prescription from their doctor.
“I like that we’re now the second most pro-life state in the nation, but I think part of that is also making sure that we have access to reproductive health needs,” Pilkington said of his legislation. “In small communities, sometimes people may not feel comfortable going to their family provider because that’s the same person who’s seeing their dad, their mom, their brother. Maybe with a pharmacist, they will feel more comfortable talking to about this.”