Abortion

Charlie Collins
Brian Chilson / Arkansas Times

With very little discussion, the Arkansas House of Representatives approved a bill that bans abortions based solely on whether a woman wants to give birth to a boy or a girl.

The "sex-selection" bill – which opponents say is unconstitutional – was approved Tuesday by a vote of 79-3, with 6 Democrats voting present. It now heads to the Senate.

Rep. Charlie Collins, a Republican of Fayetteville, was the bill’s sponsor and called it the "right thing to do."

The Arkansas House has approved a measure requiring the state to suspend or revoke the license of abortion providers for any rule or law violation, a move that opponents say unfairly targets abortion providers.

The House on Monday approved by a 77-8 vote a bill aimed at stiffening regulations for the state's abortion facilities. The measure now heads to the majority-GOP Senate.

Does an Arkansas law allow husbands to sue doctors to prevent their wives from undergoing a newly banned abortion procedure?

Abortion opponents say no. A group preparing to challenge the ban says such a lawsuit is theoretically possible but not likely.

The little-noticed clause is included in several state laws banning dilation and evacuation, but the Arkansas provision has prompted a backlash on social media.

Abortion dilation and evacuation
Bobby Ampezzan / Arkansas Public Media

The Arkansas House has voted to make the state the third to ban a commonly used abortion procedure.

The majority-Republican House voted 78-10 Monday to ban a procedure known dilation and evacuation, or "D&E," a second trimester procedure that abortion supporters say is the safest and most common. The measure now heads to the majority GOP state Senate, and Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he would sign the ban if it reaches his desk.

Mississippi and West Virginia have similar bans in effect. Similar prohibitions are on hold amid court challenges in other states.

Arkansas Capitol
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Abortion opponents in Arkansas are pushing for a ban on a commonly used second trimester procedure along with other restrictions.

They're buoyed by Republicans' expanded majorities in the Legislature and Donald Trump's election as president.

A Republican lawmaker said he planned to file legislation next week to prohibit a medical procedure called dilation and evacuation, or "D&E."

Abortion rights groups say the procedure is the safest and most common used in second trimesters.

A federal appeals panel is considering whether to uphold or strike down a judge's decision to temporarily block Arkansas from cutting off Medicaid payments for three Planned Parenthood patients.

Attorneys for the state and Planned Parenthood appeared Wednesday before a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over the preliminary injunction preventing the defunding move for the patients. U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker issued the injunction last year and Planned Parenthood has asked her to expand the order to any current or future patients.

Arkansas is appealing a federal judge's order blocking the state from enforcing its limits on how the abortion pill is administered.

The state attorney general's office on Thursday filed a notice that it was appealing U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker's March order granting Planned Parenthood of the Heartland's request for a preliminary injunction against the restrictions while she considers the case.

The rules had been set to take effect Jan. 1, but Baker had previously issued a temporary restraining order blocking them before her injunction was issued.

The state is asking a federal judge to not expand her order blocking Arkansas' attempt to cut off Medicaid funds to Planned Parenthood.

Last month, Planned Parenthood of the Heartland asked U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker to issue a new preliminary injunction to cover any current or future Medicaid patients at its health centers in the state.

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.

Planned Parenthood is asking a federal judge to prevent Arkansas from blocking Medicaid funds for women who seek services at its health centers in the state.

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