Women in the natural state will have to wait 72 hours before having an abortion if a proposed bill is signed by Governor Asa Hutchinson.
The soon to be law increases the waiting period of having an abortion from 48 to 72 hours.
While one day may not seem like much, co-founder of the Arkansas Abortions Support Network Karen Music, says it’s a major change.
“That one extra day is an extra day that someone needs to stay in a hotel, additional food service, additional daycare,” says Music.
Once signed, Arkansas will become the sixth state with a 72-hour waiting period, joining Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Utah.
“It’s a lot, it’s overwhelming. It is as if women are taking a full assault in the state of Arkansas on our reproductive rights in this particular legislative session,” says Music.
Lawmaker Bob Ballinger has backed these anti-abortion laws. He says in a statement:
Senate Bill 278 is an important part of the effort to provide additional accountability over abortion clinics to avoid the widespread legal violations we hear about in clinics across the country. The increase to a 72 hour waiting period in SB278 allows a woman more time to consider the significant risks that an abortion posses to her health, and to consider the total destruction to the life she is carrying. Before having an abortion a person should seriously consider all of the ramifications prior to making a mistake that cannot be corrected.
Loving Choices of Northwest Arkansas offers free ultrasounds and testing for women to take the first step. It is against abortions but offers an option for women to start their pregnancy process judgment free.
“I love on everybody who walks through this door, I want them to feel our love so I’m there to support them. I follow up with a girl no matter what her choice is. If she chooses to parent, adopt, or abort we care for her and show her love,” says Dana Schwiethale, Loving Choices Executive Director.
Schwiethale says they are ready for the changes to Arkansas law.
“We’re actually very happy. We’re excited, we’re getting new employees and getting geared up for the changes that are going to come and we know we’re going to be a lot busier,” says Schwiethale.
“Abortion is only going to be available for the wealthy. It always has been but this is one more way we’ve taken it and increased the cost to make it more difficult for a poor woman to have an abortion,” says music.
The bill also requires doctors to give written descriptions of the procedure to the woman and offer them 24-hour telephone consultation with a registered nurse or doctor. According to Governor Hutchinson’s office, he does plan on signing the bill into law.