More Fetus Laws in Arkansas

HB1098 - Rep. Justin Harris (The guy who runs a Christian pre-school with taxpayer funds)


This is a child abuse bill, but redefines child. Right now it is defined as from birth to age 18. This bill would change the definition to “the time a fetal heartbeat can be detected” to 18.

Simple consequences to this law include taking a medication without consulting with a doctor first. The doctor can then report you for child abuse for taking GasX without his/her approval.

The more complex implications may directly impact abortions. In Arkansas, abortions early in pregnancy are performed with medication. If you went to another doctor before getting an abortion, the first doctor could report you for child abuse after taking the medication that resulted in the abortion.The second doctor who prescribed the abortion drugs could be prosecuted for not reporting child abuse if there was a detectable heartbeat.

This is a bad law and it is in committee today. It limits the decisions a woman can make. It is the same house committee that has been listed here before. Give them a call.

HB1098 - Part II

I’ve been able to talk to some friends this morning and they have pointed out some other scary things about this bill.

1. Generally when a parent is suspected of child abuse, the child is taken into custody. This would be a way to imprison a pregnant woman indefinitely without charging her with anything while the claims are investigated. While incarcerated, the pregnant woman would not be able to generate income.

2. This is a backdoor personhood bill, opening up other ways to incarcerate a pregnant woman and limiting her health care decisions through legislation.

3. This bill may actually discourage a woman from getting prenatal care if the doctor is going to report her for not getting prenatal care earlier, for unknowingly staying on anti-depressants during pregnancy, or taking an over-the-counter drug such as Pepto-Bismol without first getting a doctor’s permission.

4. Under this bill, if a pregnant woman visited a fracking site and breathed emissions from the site, it would be child abuse.

5. If a pregnant woman is dealing with substance abuse, this bill does nothing to treat the woman or get her the help that she needs. It would likely keep her incarcerated for the duration of her pregnancy, and then after birth in prison, put her child into foster care.