US

Arkansas Senate Passes Bill Mandating 72 Hour Waiting Period Before Abortions

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Grace Carr Reporter

The Arkansas Senate passed a bill Thursday expanding the restrictions it places on women seeking to end their pregnancies by mandating they wait 72 hours post-counseling before they can have an abortion.

The state senate voted Thursday 29-5 to pass SB 278. Under the legislation, women must wait 72 hours after they are counseled by a physician before they can undergo an abortion. If the law is passed, Arkansas will be the sixth state to enact a 72-hour waiting period, according to The AP.

Previously, women seeking abortions were required to wait 48 hours following state-directed counseling before they could undergo a procedure. State law also requires minors to provide a letter of consent from a parent or guardian prior to the scheduled abortion with the exception of a court order or medical emergency.

Arkansas has three abortion clinics, only one of which offers surgical abortions. Planned Parenthood operates two clinics, one in Little Rock and one in Fayetteville, that both offer medication abortions but not surgical abortions.

Arkansas also passed a law, SB149, in mid-February banning all abortions except those that are necessary to save the mother’s life if the high court overturns Roe v. Wade. No exceptions for rape or incest are included in the bill.

A pro-choice activist holds a Planned Parenthood sign while awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling on abortion access in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on June 27, 2016. Shutterstock/Rena Schild

Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wisconsin also have laws banning abortion that would become effective if Roe v. Wade is overturned. The laws were passed prior to Roe v. Wade, according to The Guttmacher Institute. (RELATED: Federal Judge Blocks Arkansas Abortion Law, Again)

Louisiana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Mississippi have constitutional statutes that would make abortion illegal should the court rescind a woman’s legal right to abort.

Arkansas law permits a woman to abort a baby past the point of viability in cases of rape, incest or where an abortion is necessary to preserve the life of the mother. Persons who violate Arkansas’s abortion laws face fines up to $1,000 and one to five years of prison time.

SB278 will now head to Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson‘s desk for signature. Hutchinson is expected to sign the bill into law.

Follow Grace on Twitter.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.