February 26th, 2013.
Senate Bill 170 by Sen. Gary Stubblefield, R-Branch, titled the Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act, is now Act 156.
“Thanks to the good work of Americans United for Life (AUL), another step forward was taken to protect women and children from the violence of abortion when Arkansas adopted the “Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act”.
This vital legislation was signed into law Feb. 26 by Gov. Mike Beebe, making Arkansas the third state, along with Oklahoma and Missouri, to implement legislation based upon AUL’s model.
In Arkansas, the bill was intended to:
“Ensure that the affirmative right of a pregnant woman to carry her child to term is protected [and] … that defenses to criminal liability provide for a pregnant woman’s right to use physical force including deadly force to protect her unborn child. ” SB 170§ 2.
The bill specifically cites research and studies indicating that violence and harm to women increase during pregnancy. Passing unanimously through both houses, this bill gives a pregnant woman the right to use force to protect her unborn child, if she reasonably perceives that her unborn child faces a threat that would justify use of physical or deadly force in self-defense.
Also in the bill, an unborn child is defined as, “the offspring of human beings from conception until birth” [§3(a)(2)], another strong incremental victory for the sanctity of every human life.”