Under orders from state lawmakers, the Arkansas Medical Board has voted to replace the term "fetus" with "unborn child" or "unborn human individual" in proposed regulations on abortion-related laws.
The board had presented the wording governing abortion procedures in January, changing the Legislature's language to "fetus" because its members said that was an accepted medical term, while "unborn child" was not.
A subcommittee of the Arkansas Legislative Council sent the proposed rules back to the board with directions to restore the original language. In a 9 to 4 vote, the board did just that.
The laws, which require testing for a fetal heartbeat, add requirements for providers who administer abortion pills and require an increased waiting period for abortions, have already been implemented.
The state board of health has also tried to change language in regulations for abortion providers regarding the same laws. It wanted to change the language defining an abortion as the “death of an unborn child” to the “termination of a pregnancy.” Those regulations were returned by the governor’s office.