Arkansas Votes to Defund Planned Parenthood and Sex Ed

5598831547_7e8ed47604_bOn Tuesday, the Arkansas state Senate passed a bill that would entirely defund Planned Parenthood and all organizations that have a contract with an abortion provider.

This is a state with the third-highest teen birth rate in the nation, and a place where 60 percent of the counties don’t have an OB-GYN.

If passed into law, the measure would also cut high school sex education programs in Arkansas that are currently operated by Planned Parenthood—specifically HIV and STI prevention programs. Jill June, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Heartland told the Christian Post,

It’s disheartening that some extreme lawmakers would rather make a political statement against Planned Parenthood than support these vital prevention programs for our young people.

Arkansas high school students would lose a significant portion of the sex education they currently get in classes, as Little Rock Central High School health education teacher Darrell Seward told Huffington Post:

This program has been one of the most well-received programs that our students have ever been engaged in. I am a Republican, but this is one issue I feel very strongly about, because I see the benefit for our kids.

Arkansas is becoming one of the leading states in a recent “tidal wave” of anti-abortion legislation. Just last month, it passed a law that is one of the country’s strictest in preventing women from having abortions.

Now that the bill has passed the Senate, it moves on to Arkansas’s House of Representatives.

Photo of Planned Parenthood rally courtesy of Flickr user MikeSheridan89 under Creative Commons 2.0

Comments

  1. ailimhazel says:

    What do women in those 60 counties do to give birth without access to an obstetrician? How do they get any prenatal care or checkups at all? If they don’t have obstetricians, I highly doubt midwives are legal considering they are the more controversial of the two. Do these women just give birth at home in bathtubs by themselves? The death rates and poor fetal development rates must by sky high!

    • To me it is alarming that they have such limited access to an obstetrician, but when I was born, a general family practitioner was entrusted with my Mother’s pregnancy and the subsequent birth. It is not ideal in this day in age, but unless there are complications with the pregnancy and childbirth, most doctors are trained to a certain extent on pregnancy and birth.

  2. To me, this new legislation in Arkansas is just more evidence that extreme Republicans are determined to roll back women’s reproductive rights, not just in some states, but in as many states as they possibly can. We helped to defeat two of these extreme Republicans (Romney/Ryan at the top level) in the 2012 elections, now we need to focus on the red states, and vote as many Republican governors out of office as we can. As long as states are controlled by Republican governors and legislatures, this kind of anti-choice legislation against women will not only continue, but also get much worse for us.

  3. The Governor and Attorney General of Virginia are also trying to deny access to abortion and contraception, judging by their efforts to regulate the clinics in VA out of existence. We so need to vote these guys OUT of office in 2014!

  4. Yet more good reasons not to move to Arkansas–or to leave if you live there. These pieces of legislation are even more startling when viewed along with the last election. The right-wingers lost, but they don’t seem to be able to assimilate that information, making the excuse that they didn’t get out their message. They lost precisely because they did indeed get out their message, a message that was soundly rejected by the electorate. And yet, the GOP minions continue down the same destructive path, pursuing an even more strident and dangerous anti-women agenda. The GOP political landscape resembles Whack-A-Mole: you hammer one down and another pops up, say in Tennessee, where one genius proposed legislation that would terminate all public assistance to a single mom whose child made poor grades in school. Last I checked, a correlation exists between poor nutrition (poverty) and poor academic performance. Somebody needs to drag these men kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I’m convinced that high levels of testosterone reduce one’s IQ, and these people didn’t have that much to spare.

  5. This is what happens when people don’t bother to vote in mid-term elections. These extremists managed to sneak in under the radar, probably knowing that most voters wouldn’t be paying attention. Make sure to vote in every election, primary and general, from the local to the Federal level. All of our hard-won rights to control our lives could be snatched away by these Fascists.

  6. I vote in all the elections held in my state (VA), not just the national ones. I’ll definitely be voting in the 2014 state elections as well, to vote guys like Gov. “Ultrasound” McDonnell and AG Cuccinelli OUT of office. I just hope a majority of women in Virginia will finally do the same and vote a Democrat progressive candidate into office for a long-awaited change.

  7. Sex education is such a vital thing…i think health class needs a serious reformation in this country

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