Arkansas State Senate Approves Late-Term Abortion Ban
A bill that would ban so-called partial birth abortions in Arkansas passed in the state Senate yesterday in a 30 to 3 vote. The same bill passed last week in the Arkansas state House of Representatives in an 84 to 6 vote after no debate. According to the New York Times, Democratic Governor Mike Beebe plans to sign the bill.
The legislation has an exception to save the life of the mother, but does not have a health exception, according to the Associated Press. Doctors could face felony charges under the proposed law for performing the procedure.
The bill's sponsor, Democratic state Representative Dawn Creekmore, says that the law would only affect abortions after the first trimester, according to the Baxter Bulletin, but Dr. William Harrison criticized the bill because it is too vague. He told 4029 TV that "any abortion, say after eight or nine weeks, potentially could be defined by this bill…it's written specifically to make abortions as difficult to provide as possible."
The legislation is parallel to federal law that bans so-called partial birth abortions, a medical procedure that is not restricted to a particular stage of pregnancy. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in 2007 to uphold the federal Partial Birth Abortion Act, which was passed by the Republican controlled Congress in 2003 and bans the same abortion procedure.
Media Resources: New York Times 2/20/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 2/17/09; Associated Press 2/12/09; 4029 TV 1/22/09; Baxter Bulletin 2/10/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 4/18/09
11/20/2014 Federal Appeals Court Rejects Priests for Life Challenge to Birth Control Coverage Rule - In a victory for women's health, a unanimous panel of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit on Friday rejected a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraceptive coverage benefit brought by Priests for Life, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington and other religiously affiliated non-profit organizations.
Judge Nina Pillard, a former law professor who was nominated to the DC Circuit by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate in December, wrote the opinion for the Court, which found that the ACA birth control benefit did not substantially burden or violate non-profits' religious freedom.
Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance companies must cover the full cost of all FDA-approved contraceptives - including the pill, IUDs, and emergency contraception - without requiring co-pays or cost-sharing. . . .