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Not Content With Strictest Abortion Law in the Country, Rapert Wants to Defund Planned Parenthood

Robin Marty

Once an anti-choicer's done all he can to ban abortion, his next logical move is to cut off birth control access.

As the architect of the most restrictive successfully passed abortion ban in the country, Arkansas State Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) has definitely made a name for himself. Perhaps upset that his bill was watered down (his original proposal banned abortion at approximately six weeks, but a 12-week version passed), Sen. Rapert isn’t resting on his laurels. Now he’s trying to cut off access to birth control too.

The state senator has introduced a bill that would refuse state or federal funding to any entity that performs or even offers referrals for abortions, in a direct swing at the state’s Planned Parenthood clinics.

Public dollars awarded to qualifying entities may facilitate or subsidize directly or indirectly expenses or activities not directly related to those for which the funds were intended, including without limitation shared administrative costs, overhead, employee salaries, rent, utilities, and various other expenses

(3) It is possible that public dollars made available by or through the State of Arkansas may be awarded to an entity that performs abortions or subsidizes or otherwise facilitates the entity’s ability to perform abortions although the funds were not disbursed specifically for the purpose of performing abortions;

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The “Defunding the Abortion Industry and Advancing Women’s Health Act of 2012” likely got its retro name from Americans United for Life’s model legislation of the same name; the bills share many common points. Regardless of its origins, the purpose of the bill is clear: to cut off government funding to the two Planned Parenthood clinics in the state, both of which provide abortions. Sen. Rapert’s most recent anti-choice bill will make it extremely difficult for women to terminate an unwanted pregnancy, and this assault on Planned Parenthood’s funding shows that his goal was never to “save babies,” but to force women into procreating.

Banning all abortion and eliminating birth control access? It looks like Sen. Rapert, who’s the founder of the evangelical Holy Ghost Ministries, is using his role in the legislature to get closer and closer to “[taking] this country back for the Lord.”

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Reproductive rights are a public health issue. That's a fact.

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