March 2023 Update
Proposals restricting access to reproductive care
Among those measures is a proposal requiring any, as defined (Defined as “any person engaging in commerce or in any industry or activity affecting commerce” who employees at least 50 employees for each working day during each of the 20 more more calendar work weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, as well as any public agency, person “acting directly or indirectly in the interest of a covered employer to any of the employees of that employer” and successor “in interest of a covered employer.”), in-state employer who covers “abortions or travel expenses related to abortions.” Notably, only full-time employees who have worked with the employer for at least one calendar year would be eligible for paid maternity leave under the proposal, which caps the benefit at 100% of the eligible employee’s salary or the 12-week average weekly pay.
Arkansas legislators recently approved a measure, which the Governor has signaled intent to sign (See, https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2023/mar/05/utah-governor-backs-abortion-measure/) , repealing the state law under which an abortion clinic can be licensed by the state Department of Health. Notably, this measure would not repeal existing reporting or inspection requirements for in-state abortion facilities. By far more concerning to many is Arkansas HB 1174, a personhood measure that would allow state prosecutors to pursue murder charges against women who have abortions. Moreover, lawmakers expressly removed a carve out that provided a defense to charges in cases involving IVF – meaning that practitioners would be liable, if this passed as-is, for performing procedures that fall under the broad definition of abortion.
Measures to protect reproductive care
as of July 2022
Trigger Law Statutory Cite(s)
Does this law have a potential impact on IVF/Reproductive medicine?
Why or why not?
- Seemingly no impact on IVF or other ART procedures because the law prohibits abortion, which is defined as acting to terminate the pregnancy of a woman.
- The statute does define “unborn child” to apply from fertilization to live birth, but this term is only used in the context of defining abortion to mean termination of a pregnancy causing the death of an unborn child.
Does this law explicitly reference IVF, assisted reproductive technology or reproductive medicine?
Are there any penalties in this law that could apply to ART procedures?
- “Abortion” means using or administering any instrument, drug, or other substance or device with the purpose to terminate the pregnancy of a woman.
- “Fertilization” means the fusion of human spermatozoon with a human ovum.
- “Unborn child” means an individual organism of the species Homo sapiens from fertilization until live birth.
Do the definitions/terms of the trigger law apply to other areas of state code?
What is the “trigger” for this law to take effect?
- Certification by the Attorney General that the Supreme Court overrules, in whole or in part, the central holding of Roe v. Wade, thereby restoring to the State of Arkansas the authority to prohibit abortion; or
- Adoption of an amendment to the Constitution that, in whole or in part, restores to the State the authority to prohibit abortion.