As the Arkansas legislature meets for the 2013 session, a Republican majority ensures that anti-choice legislation will have much more of a chance of becoming law than in the past. Because of this, three bills are already being discussed as part of the legislative agenda: a ban on abortion coverage in the health care exchange, a 20-week ban and a bill that would prohibit “telemed” abortions.
Ironically, the spokeswoman for Right to Life claims that the telemed ban is to protect women since they have so little access to clinics.
Via ULAR Public Radio:
Rose Mimms of Arkansas Right to Life said Wednesday the organization is supporting a bill to require doctors to see patients in person before prescribing the RU-486 abortion pill, she says in order to prevent “web cam abortions.”
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“In rural Arkansas, we don’t want our young mothers going through this chemical abortion procedure with no help out there for them,” she told reporters after a press conference in the Capitol rotunda.
Why would there be “no help out there for them?” Because anti-choice activists in Arkansas have worked to close nearly all of the clinics in the state, leaving only one surgical clinic and two clinics that provide RU-486.
The two clinics that provide medication abortions are a significant distance from each other, and a fair distance for many of the rural women in the state who would go there. Although the telemed ban has not been filed yet, there is the concern that it could restrict access to the point where even the providers who are offering it to women face to face will no longer be able to do so, as we saw in Wisconsin. Should that occur, Arkansas would be left with only one clinic in the state for women to use.
No doubt that would suit Arkansas Right to life just fine.
Arkansas Right to Life hasn’t clarified exactly what they mean by a telemed ban, either, but have adamantly urged supporters to contact their legislators to make it happen. At the same time, they are urging residents to band together to stop any potential new clinics in the state, saying that Planned Parenthood is desperate to take over their communities.
So much for caring about the welfare of rural women.