Updated: S.B. 304 Fails in Committee

Yesterday around 6:00 P.M., S.B. 304, the bad sex-education bill by Sen. Will Bond (D – Little Rock) and Rep. LeAnne Burch (D – Monticello), failed in the House Education Committee.

This bill would make it possible for Planned Parenthood to worm its way into junior high and high schools across Arkansas under the auspices of teaching teen pregnancy prevention and sex-education.

After a lot of testimony and discussion, the bill received eight votes from the committee members; it needed 11 to pass.

During the meeting, Rep. Mark Lowery (R – Maumelle) offered a good amendment to S.B. 304 that would have prevented abortion-providers like Planned Parenthood from teaching the sex-education courses this bill authorizes, but the committee did not add his good amendment to the bill.

Thankfully, the bill ultimately failed to pass.

Below is a breakdown of how each representative voted on S.B. 304 (please note that some of the committee members who did not vote were absent from the meeting).

Voted FOR S.B. 304

Rep. Jon Eubanks (R – Paris)
Rep. John Walker (D – Little Rock)
Rep. Jim Dotson (R – Bentonville)
Rep. Jana Della Rosa (R – Rogers)
Rep. DeAnn Vaught (R – Horatio)
Rep. LeAnne Burch (D – Monticello)
Rep. Frances Cavenaugh (R – Walnut Ridge)
Rep. Denise Garner (D – Fayetteville)

Voted AGAINST S.B. 304

Rep. Stephen Meeks (R – Greenbrier)
Rep. Mark Lowery (R – Maumelle)
Rep. Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro)
Rep. Nelda Speaks (R – Mountain Home)
Rep. Mickey Gates (R – Hot Springs)
Rep. Brian Evans (R – Cabot)

Did Not Vote on S.B. 304

Rep. Gary Deffenbaugh (R – Van Buren)
Rep. Grant Hodges (R – Rogers)
Rep. Rick Beck (R – Center Ridge)
Rep. Fred Allen (D – Little Rock)
Rep. Reginald Murdock (D – Marianna)
Rep. Bruce Cozart (R – Hot Springs)

This was a hard-fought victory, and it would not have been possible without everyone who called, texted, and emailed their legislators about this bad bill. Hats off to everyone who helped defeat S.B. 304 last night!

Also, we’ve reviewed three decades-worth of data from the Arkansas Department of Health and the federal CDC that shows why sex-education programs like S.B. 304’s don’t work. You can read about that in our April update letter.

Updated

Here is how the House Education Committee voted on Rep. Lowery’s good amendment that would have kept abortion providers like Planned Parenthood from teaching sex-education under S.B. 304:

Voted FOR Rep. Lowery’s Good Amendment
Rep. Stephen Meeks (R – Greenbrier)
Rep. Mark Lowery (R – Maumelle)
Rep. Rick Beck (R – Center Ridge)
Rep. Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro)
Rep. Nelda Speaks (R – Mountain Home)
Rep. Brian Evans (R – Cabot)

Voted AGAINST Rep. Lowery’s Good Amendment
Rep. Jon Eubanks (R – Paris)
Rep. John Walker (D – Little Rock)
Rep. Jim Dotson (R – Bentonville)
Rep. Jana Della Rosa (R – Rogers)
Rep. LeAnne Burch (D – Monticello)
Rep. Frances Cavenaugh (R – Walnut Ridge)
Rep. Denise Garner (D – Fayetteville)
Rep. Bruce Cozart (R – Hot Springs)

Did Not Vote For or Against the Amendment
Rep. Gary Deffenbaugh (R – Van Buren)
Rep. Grant Hodges (R – Rogers)
Rep. Mickey Gates (R – Hot Springs)
Rep. DeAnn Vaught (R – Horatio)
Rep. Fred Allen (D – Little Rock)
Rep. Reginald Murdock (D – Marianna)

You can read S.B. 304 here.

You can read Rep. Lowery’s amendment to S.B. 304 here.

You can download an official copy of the roll-call vote on Rep. Lowery’s amendment to S.B. 304 here.

Planned Parenthood Says This Pro-Life Bill is “The Worst Attack” on Abortion This Year

Yesterday Planned Parenthood issued a statement calling S.B. 448 by Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R – Branch) and Rep. Sonia Barker (R – Smackover) “the worst attack” on abortion this year in Arkansas.

According to Planned Parenthood, S.B. 448 is more far-reaching than any other pro-life bill Arkansas has passed this legislative session.

Here’s what S.B. 448 — the “worst attack” on abortion in Arkansas — does:

It requires doctors who perform abortions to be board-certified or board-eligible OB/GYNs.

The bill also updates a pro-life law Arkansas passed in the 1980s, but Planned Parenthood has said little, if anything, about that.

For perspective, under current law, any medical doctor can perform an abortion in Arkansas. S.B. 448 simply protects women from dangerous abortion practices by ensuring doctors who perform abortions are trained in obstetrics and gynecology.

That sounds pretty reasonable to me, and I think most Arkansans would agree.

You can read S.B. 448 here.

Photo Credit: By jordanuhl7 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons