Abortion

Legislation placing new limits on the administration of the abortion pill is advancing to the Arkansas Senate for a final vote.

The Senate Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee voted 5-2 Wednesday for a House-backed bill that would require providers of abortion pills to follow all guidelines set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The American Civil Liberties union says telemedicine legislation signed by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson is aimed at blocking access to abortions.

A Hutchinson spokesman says the governor signed a bill earlier this week that requires a doctor to be physically present when a woman takes abortion-inducing medication.

The bill by Republican Sen. Missy Irvin of Mountain View was a top legislative priority of anti-abortion groups and was supported by overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate.

Rep. David Meeks (R-Greenbrier) and Sen. Joyce Elliott (D-Little Rock) chatting after a committee morning Monday morning.
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR

The first abortion-related bill of Arkansas's legislative session easily passed through the state House Monday. The bill seeks to ban a procedure not currently offered in Arkansas: drug-induced abortions via telemedicine, where a doctor consults with a patient over video and may or may not provide a prescription.

julie mayberry
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

An Arkansas House committee has approved a proposal that would require a doctor to be present when women take abortion-inducing medication.

The Public Health, Welfare, and Labor committee Thursday voted to send the bill to the House. It would prevent any instance of the medication being administered through telemedicine and require that doctors attempt to schedule a follow-up visit.

Anti-abortion rally josh duggar
Jacob Kauffman / KUAR News

A coalition of abortion opponents gathered at the Capitol Friday to call on Democratic Senator Mark Pryor to support a congressional effort to ban the procedure at 20 weeks. Local organizers and campaign workers with Pryor’s senate opponent, Republican Tom Cotton, were joined by a national organization in Arkansas to influence the upcoming election.

Mallory Quigley, a spokeswoman with Women Speak Out PAC, said abortion is an issue that needs to be at the forefront.

“We have a really important opportunity to replace Mark Pryor with a pro-life Senator,” said Quigley.

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