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Arkansas Omnibus Abortion Bill (SB 278)

This law was last updated on Aug 6, 2019

This law is Anti–Choice




SB 278




Feb 7, 2019


Co-sponsors: 22
Primary Sponsors: 2
Total Sponsors: 24


Informed Consent, Later Abortion, Omnibus (multiple topics), Physicians Reporting Requirements, Reporting Requirements, Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, Waiting Periods and Forced Counseling

Full Bill Text

SB 278 amends current state law regarding abortion clinics and abortion reporting, the Born-Alive Infant Protection law, and certain informed consent requirements.


The bill requires abortion facilities to provide a 24-hour basis telephone consultation for patients with a registered nurse or physician associated with the clinic, health center, or other facility.

An abortion facility must have written procedure for emergency transfer of a patient to an acute care facility, including a medical record form that contains information required for an emergency transfer to an acute care facility.

The bill requires all abortion facilities to be located within 30 miles of a hospital that provides gynecological or surgical services.

An abortion facility must have drugs, oxygen, intravenous fluids, and other emergency equipment on-site and readily available to stabilize a patient if necessary. All staff must have documented current competency in CPR.

Born-Alive Infant Protection

If an abortion performed at a hospital or abortion facility results in a live birth, the attending physician would be required to report it to the state department of health. The department would be required to report and publish the number of abortions resulting in a live birth annually.

A physician who fails to comply with state law regarding born-alive infant protection would be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and may be charged with medical malpractice.

Reporting Requirements

The bill makes it a Class A misdemeanor for an abortion provider to fail to report each abortion to the state. The abortion provider would also face civil and professional disciplinary action.

Woman’s Right to Know Act

The bill amends informed consent requirements to increase the waiting period prior to the performance of an abortion from 48 hours to 72 hours.

Except in cases of a medical emergency, at least 72 hours before the abortion, the pregnant person would be required to sign a form that includes without limitation the following information:

  • A description of the patient’s rights;
  • A detailed description of the surgical or medical procedures that are planned to performed;
  • A detailed list of the risks and hazards related to the planned procedures;
  • A description of additional information provided by the physician under state law;
  • Any additional information in order for a physician to obtain informed consent.

A person who intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly violates the Woman’s Right to Know Act, would be committing a Class D felony.

Latest Action

2/7/19 – Introduced.

3/13/19 – Passed Senate committee.

3/18/19 – Passed the Senate by a 28-6 vote.

3/28/19 – Amended; passed House committee.

4/2/19 – Passed House by a 75-13 vote.

4/4/19 – Senate concurred by a 29-5 vote.

4/10/19 – Signed into law by Republican Gov. Asas Hutchinson.