LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Lawmakers in Arkansas have voted to ban state grants to abortion providers, as well as their affiliates.
SB 569 was introduced by Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R-Blanch), and while it doesn’t mention Planned Parenthood specifically, is stated to have been proposed out of an effort to block funds the organization has been receiving for its sexual education programs.
“It is possible that public dollars made available by or through the State of Arkansas may be awarded to an entity that performs elective abortions or subsidizes or otherwise facilitates the entity’s ability to perform elective abortions although the funds were not disbursed specifically for the purpose of performing elective abortions,” the bill reads.
It then notes: “The direct or indirect subsidization or facilitation of abortion with funds distributed by the state constitutes paying for an abortion and, therefore, conflicts with Amendment 68 to the Arkansas Constitution of 1874.”
Due to the constitutional conflict, the legislation then bans the state from granting funds to abortion providers, or those who even counsel in favor of abortion.
“An agency or instrumentality of the state shall not grant, appropriate, or distribute a grant to an individual or entity that: (1) Performs abortions, induces abortions, provides abortion referrals, or counsels in favor of elective abortions; or (2) Is an affiliate of a person or entity that performs abortions, induces abortions, provides abortion referrals, or counsels in favor of elective abortions,” SB 569 reads.
The ban does not apply to Medicaid funding, nor hospitals that may provide abortions.
The measure was approved earlier this month by the Senate Health, Welfare and Labor Committee, and moved on to the full Senate, where it passed by a vote of 26-5.
On Thursday, the bill overwhelmingly passed the House 70-8, which means that it will now go to the desk of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is expected to sign SB 569 into law.
As previously reported, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America outlined in its annual report, released in Jan. 2015, that the organization performed 327,653 abortions nationwide during the 2013-2014 fiscal year, up from 327,166 the year prior. There were 1,880 adoption referrals, down 14 percent from 2012, equating to 174 abortions for every adoption referral.
While the abortion giant’s income was down slightly in the 2013-2014 fiscal year, it still received $528 million in taxpayer funding/grants, which equated to 41 percent of its total income. $44.6 million of Planned Parenthood’s income was used for sex education, and $33.6 million was used for public policy, or to influence legislation. Despite its expenditures, it still garnered a $127.1 million dollar profit and opened 10 new facilities nationwide.
In Arkansas, Planned Parenthood received $35,000 a year for its sexual education programs and sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention efforts.