NRL News

Arkansas Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act on way to Gov. Beebe’s desk

by | Feb 21, 2013

By Dave Andrusko

Mary Spaudling Balch, JD, director, NRLC Department of State Legislation

Mary Spaudling Balch, JD, director, NRLC Department of State Legislation

It is the nature of the legislative process that there is a give and take between the upper and lower chambers, but the differences between the Arkansas Senate and House over the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act have now been rectified. On an 80-10 vote, the House accepted the Senate’s version and the bill is now on its way to the desk of Gov. Mike Beebe.

The Senate’s overwhelming 25-7 vote Monday followed a 75-20 vote in the House earlier this month.

The law is already on the books in seven states–Alabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

Meanwhile the North Dakota Senate passed its version— Senate bill 2368—which protects from abortion unborn children capable of feeling pain, defined as 20 weeks after fertilization. SB2368 passed by a 30-17 vote.  The measure now moves to the House.

Mary Spaulding Balch, JD., is NRLC’s Director of State Legislation and architect of the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. These laws, she said, are changing the discussion.

“Opponents try discredited arguments—that babies at 20 weeks fetal age don’t feel pain—and as a backup switch gears to say these babies account for only a ‘tiny percentage’ of abortions,” Balch told NRL News Today. “But the American people want unborn babies who are capable of feeling pain to be protected from being killed by abortion.”

Besides the Arkansas bill, “We also expect to see action on similar bills in other states this year, as well,” Balch concluded. “And as noted, North Dakota’s bill is moving quickly and other states will follow.”

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Categories: Legislation