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Arkansas ‘Down Syndrome Discrimination by Abortion Prohibition Act’ (SB 2)

This law was last updated on Sep 3, 2019


This law is Anti–Choice

State

Arkansas

Number

SB 2

Status

Blocked/Enjoined

Proposed

Jan 14, 2019

Topics

Genetic Anomalies, Waiting Periods and Forced Counseling

Full Bill Text

www.arkleg.state.ar.us

SB 2 prohibits a physician from intentionally performing or attempting to perform an abortion with the knowledge that the pregnant person is seeking the abortion due to a possibility that the fetus has Down syndrome.

The law prohibits a physician or other person from performing or attempting to perform an abortion if they know the pregnant person wants the abortion based on:

  • A test result indicating fetal Down syndrome;
  • A prenatal diagnosis of fetal Down syndrome; or
  • Any other reason to believe that a fetus has Down syndrome.

The law requires the physician to ask the pregnant person if they are aware of any test results, prenatal diagnosis, or any other reason that the fetus may have Down syndrome.

If the pregnant person knows of any test result, the physician must inform the patient that an abortion due to such a test result is prohibited.

Potential Forced Waiting Period

If the pregnant patient knows of any test result, the physician must request their medical records relevant to determining whether they have previously had an abortion after they became aware of any test results, prenatal diagnosis, or any other evidence that the fetus may have had Down Syndrome.

The physician would be prohibited from performing an abortion until at least 14 days have passed trying to obtain the medical records of the pregnant person.

A physician or other person who knowingly performs or attempts to perform an abortion prohibited by this provision would be guilty of a Class D felony and would have their medical license revoked.

The measure includes an exception for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.


Latest Action

11/15/18 – Prefiled.

1/14/19 – Introduced; referred to Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee.

3/20/19 – Passed the Senate by a 29-2 vote.

3/27/19 – Passed the House by a 75-11 vote.

4/2/19 – Signed into law by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson.

Update #1

8/6/19 – The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas Western Division granted a preliminary injunction blocking the law from taking effect while the case proceeds.


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