Ark. Bill Aims To Defund Affiliates of Abortion Providers

March 11, 2013 — An Arkansas lawmaker who sponsored the state's newly enacted 12-week abortion ban has introduced a bill (SB 818) that would bar public funding to abortion providers and groups affiliated with them, including Planned Parenthood, the AP/Sacramento Bee reports (DeMillo, AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/7).

The bill would prohibit state or federal funding to entities that provide "abortions or abortion referrals" and those that contract or affiliate with "a person or entity that performs abortions or abortion referrals" (Good, "The Note," ABC News, 3/7).

Planned Parenthood Targeted

According to the AP/Bee, the measure is specifically aimed at cutting off funding to Planned Parenthood, including grant money the organization receives for school education programs about sexually transmitted infections.

Planned Parenthood of the Heartland does not provide surgical abortions at any of its clinics in Arkansas, and it provides medication abortion at two facilities in the state.

Gov. Mike Beebe (D) -- whose veto of the 12-week abortion ban was overridden by the Legislature -- on Thursday reiterated his concerns about the costs of defending the bills against potential lawsuits (AP/Sacramento Bee, 3/7).