Rep. Dawn Creekmore filed HB1113 today that would ban partial birth abortion in Arkansas. The bill was immediately referred to the House Public Health, Welfare, and Labor Committee. The Arkansas legislature voted to ban this procedure back in 1997 with Act 984, signed into law by then Gov. Mike Huckabee. However, in 1998, the Federal 8th Court of Appeals stuck down this law as unconstitutional saying that the act “places an undue burden on the right of a woman to decide whether to have an abortion.” Another attempt is now being made to ban this barbaric procedure in Arkansas following the 2007 Supreme Court ruling upholding the Federal Ban on Partial Birth Abortion.
This will certainly be one the key bills that the Tolbert Report will be following during this session. The Partial Birth Bill easily passed in 1997 and the current bill already has a bipartisan group of fifteen sponsors in the House and six sponsors in the Senate. Hopefully this will translate to a successful passage of the bill. But we will certainly be watching this one closely.
UPDATE – Rose Mimms, Director of Arkansas Right to Life, let me know that they held a press conference today at the state capital to support the victims of abortion and to announce the filing of the bill. She said that part of the reason that the state ban is needed is that the federal partial birth abortion ban may be repealed by the new Presidential administration and that a state law will allow county or state official to enforce the ban rather than having to rely solely on federal prosecutors.
“We expect that the pro-life policies of President Bush will end immediately by executive order and that the Freedom of Choice legislation to ensure unrestricted, unlimited abortion at taxpayer expense will be a priority,” Mimms said. “This morning, Rep. Dawn Creekmore filed the 2009 Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. The passage of this bill together with the federal ban, we can protect defenseless babies in Arkansas from this horrible abortion death.”
Mimms also asked that I remind readers that “this Sunday January 18th at 2:00 p.m. at Capitol & Louisiana Streets in downtown Little Rock, Arkansas Right to Life will hold our annual March for Life, a public memorial service to remember those who have died and those who have been hurt by abortion.”
UPDATE II - Rep. Ann Clemmer of Bryant, co-sponsor of the bill, said, "Abortion is the great tragedy of our generation, thousands of young women have been deceived into accepting this 'choice' and have paid the terrible consequences. Partial birth abortion has no justification, except to save the LIFE of the mother. It goes beyond any practice that ought to be acceptable to a civilized people."