Parental Involvement Bill
The state Senate on Thursday voted 24-1 to approve a measure that would increase parental involvement restrictions for minors seeking abortion care (Wickline, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 3/27). The Arkansas House passed the measure earlier this month. The bill would require that the adult consenting to a minor's abortion provide identification verifying his or her identity as the minor's parent or guardian. The bill permits physicians to perform abortions immediately if the minor has a medical emergency. However, physicians would have to inform the minor's parent or guardian of the procedure within 24 hours afterward.
In addition, the bill would require minors who petition a judge for a waiver of the requirements to do so in their county of residency. Currently, the state permits minors seeking a judicial bypass to do so at any county circuit court (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/24).
Bill To Block Public Funding for Women's Health Clinics
Also on Thursday, the Arkansas House voted 70-8 to approve a bill that would prohibit health centers that offer abortions or provide abortion referrals from receiving state or federal funds, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 3/26).
The state Senate approved the measure earlier this month.
Specifically, the measure would bar the state from distributing grants to individuals or entities that offer abortion services, counseling or referrals, or that have affiliations with such individuals or entities. The measure would not apply to funds provided through the state's Medicaid program. In addition, the bill would not affect funding for medical schools, universities or hospitals (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/11).