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Arkansas House Panel Looking To Ban 'Sex-selection' Abortion

Update Date: Feb 12, 2017 12:21 PM EST
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The state of Arkansas House panel approved on Thursday the sex-selection abortion ban. House Bills 1428 and 1434 would add regulations for clinics to meet and were written to overcome constitutional challenges. The officials said the ban would have little effect because most of abortions occur before the gender is known.

The first bill HB1428 by Rep. Robin Lundstrum, R-Elm Springs, would create more rules for clinics to adhere to. The bill would require the Department of Health to immediately suspend a clinic's license if the agency discovered a violation.

The HB1428 bill would require abortions to be performed by a licensed physician. Instead of the regular periodic inspection it would be moved to annual ones, and require inspections to include medical records that include signatures for informed consent and parental consent.

NW Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported the state would require collecting an annual $500 fee currently the fee is optional. Arkansas requires parental consent for abortions for minors. Exception is unless a waiver is obtained from a judge.

The second bill, HB1434 by Rep. Charlie Collins proposed to ban sex-selection abortion. Collins said the ban was still necessary because things could still change especially with the advances in technology. "What's reasonable today and what's reasonable in the future could be very, very different," Collins said to his colleagues on the House Public Health Committee.

New Jersey Herald reported Guttmacher Institue research center in favor of abortion rights said Sex-selection abortion has already been banned in Arizona, Kansas, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and South Dakota.

Collins said under the Arkansas measure the doctor performing an abortion has to ask the patient if she knows the gender of the child. If she does, doctors would need to inform her that is illegal to have an abortion based solely on gender as sex of the child is usually determined at 20 weeks.

The bill now is on its way to the full House for consideration. Legislators have outlawed dilation and the most common second-trimester procedure, evacuation abortions. The ban would take effect later this year.

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