National Partnership for Women & Families

In the News

Ark. Senate Approves Bill To Extend Mandatory Delay, Require Biased Counseling

The Arkansas Senate has voted 26-4 to approve a bill (HB 1578) that would extend the mandatory delay period before a woman can obtain an abortion from 24 hours to 48 hours, among other provisions, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports.

A spokesperson for Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) said the governor, who has previously approved antiabortion-rights legislation, is reviewing the proposal. If the bill is enacted, Arkansas would become the second state to impose a 48-hour mandatory delay. Three states have passed 72-hour delays.

Bill Details

The 48-hour delay would begin after the woman meets with a physician about an abortion. Under the bill, the initial meeting must be in person, meaning that the woman would have to make a minimum of two trips to the abortion clinic.

In addition, physicians would have to talk to women about alternatives to abortion, discuss potential health risks and give a probable physical description of the fetus (DeMillo, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 3/30).