The Arkansas legislature has overwhelmingly passed a bill that would ban Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from providing resources in the state’s public schools.
The legislation, which passed in the state Senate Monday by a vote of 27-5, and earlier in the state House by a vote of 73-18, would block Planned Parenthood from providing sex education programs in schools.
The measure has now been sent to Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R). The Associated Press reported Hutchinson’s office has not commented on whether the governor will sign the bill into law.
The Christian Post noted that, if Hutchinson were to veto the bill, the legislature would need only a simple majority to override the veto.
Arkansas lawmakers recently overrode the governor’s veto on a bill that prohibits minors from receiving transgender drugs and gender transition surgeries.
In March, Hutchinson signed a bill into law that bans most abortions in the state except those to save the life of the mother.
The Arkansas Student Protection Act (HB 1592) states:
A public school or open-enrollment public charter school shall not knowingly enter into any type of transaction with an individual or entity that: (1) Performs abortions; (2) Induces abortions; or (3) Provides abortions.
If signed into law and enacted, a school that violates the law would be required to “appear before the state board” to determine why it was violated and how to prevent violating it in the future.
Gloria Pedro of Planned Parenthood Great Plains, condemned the legislation, according to the Post.
“Our students’ basic education should not be jeopardized because of the Legislature’s misguided political agenda,” she said.
However, Jerry Cox of the Arkansas Family Council praised the vote. He referred to the legislation as a “good bill” that “will help make sure Planned Parenthood and other abortionists don’t access Arkansas’ public schools.”