Arkansas Code Title 20. Public Health and Welfare § 20-16-1704. Publication of materials

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(a)(1) The Department of Health shall:

(A) Publish easily comprehensible printed materials and an informational DVD in English and Spanish within ninety (90) days after July 22, 2015;

(B) Develop and maintain a secure internet website, which may be part of an existing website, to provide the information required under this subchapter;  and

(C) Monitor the website on a weekly basis to prevent and correct tampering.

(2) The department shall not collect or maintain information regarding persons using the website.

(b) The department shall review and update annually, if necessary, the following printed materials and informational DVD, which shall be easily comprehensible:

(1)(A) Geographically indexed materials that inform a pregnant woman seeking an abortion of public and private agencies and services available to assist her through pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while her child is dependent, including without limitation adoption agencies.

(B) The materials shall:

(i) Include:

(a) A comprehensive list of the public and private agencies and services, a description of the services they offer, and the telephone numbers and addresses of the agencies;  and

(b) The following statement:  “There are many public and private agencies willing and able to help you to carry your child to term and to assist you and your child after your child is born, whether you choose to keep your child or to place her or him for adoption.  The State of Arkansas strongly urges you to contact one or more of these agencies before making a final decision about abortion.  The law requires that your physician or his or her agent give you the opportunity to call agencies like these before you undergo an abortion.”;

(ii) Inform the pregnant woman about available medical assistance benefits for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care;

(iii) Contain a toll-free, twenty-four-hour telephone number that may be called to obtain information about the agencies in the geographic area of the caller and of the services offered;  and

(iv) State that:

(a) It is unlawful for any individual to coerce a woman to undergo an abortion;

(b) If a minor is denied financial support by the minor's parents, guardian, or custodian due to the minor's refusal to undergo an abortion, the minor shall be deemed emancipated for the purposes of eligibility for public assistance benefits, except that benefits may not be used to obtain an abortion;

(c) A physician who performs an abortion upon a woman without her informed consent may be liable to her for damages in a civil action;  and

(d) The law permits adoptive parents to pay costs of prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care.

(C) The department shall ensure that the materials described in this section are comprehensive and do not directly or indirectly promote, exclude, or discourage the use of any public or private agency or service described in this section;

(2)(A) Materials that include information on the support obligations of a father of a child who is born alive, including without limitation the father's legal duty to support the child, including child support payments and health insurance, and the fact that paternity may be established by the father's signature on a birth certificate, by a statement of paternity, or by court action.

(B) The materials shall state that more information concerning establishment of paternity and child support services and enforcement may be obtained by calling state or county public assistance agencies;

(3)(A) Materials that describe the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the unborn child at two-week gestational increments from fertilization to full term, including color photographs of the unborn child at two-week gestational increments.

(B) The materials and descriptions shall:

(i)(a) Include information about brain and heart functions, the presence of external features and internal organs during the applicable stages of development, and any relevant information on the possibility of the unborn child's survival.

(b) If a photograph is not available, a picture shall contain the dimensions of the unborn child and shall be realistic;  and

(ii) Be objective, nonjudgmental, and designed to convey only accurate scientific information about the unborn child at the various gestational ages;

(4) Materials that contain objective information describing the various surgical and drug-induced methods of abortion, as well as the immediate and long-term medical risks commonly associated with each abortion method, including without limitation the risks of:

(A) Cervical or uterine perforation or rupture;

(B) Danger to subsequent pregnancies;

(C) Hemorrhage;

(D) Infection;

(E) Medical risks associated with carrying a child to term following an abortion;  and

(F) Possible adverse psychological effects associated with an abortion;

(5) A uniform resource locator for the state website where the materials required under this section can be found;

(6)(A) Materials that include information on the potential ability of a qualified person to reverse the effects of abortion-inducing drugs, such as mifepristone, Mifeprex, and misoprostol, including without limitation information directing a woman to obtain further information at appropriate websites and by contacting appropriate agencies for assistance in locating a healthcare professional to aid in the reversal of an abortion.

(B) The materials shall include a notice to the patient that states:

“Notice to Patients Having Medication Abortions That Use Mifepristone:  Mifepristone, also known as ‘RU-486’ or ‘Mifeprex’, alone is not always effective in ending a pregnancy.  It may be possible to reverse its intended effect if the second pill or tablet has not been taken or administered.  If you change your mind and wish to try to continue the pregnancy, you can locate immediate help by searching the term ‘abortion pill reversal’ on the internet.”

(C) The notice shall also include directions to access the department website and other appropriate telephone and internet resources;  and

(7) A checklist certification form to be used by the physician or a qualified person assisting the physician that lists the items of information to be given to the woman by a physician or the agent under this subchapter.

(c) The materials shall be printed in a typeface large enough to be clearly legible.

(d)(1) The department shall produce a standard format DVD that may be used statewide presenting the information required under this section.

(2) In preparing the DVD, the department may summarize and make reference to the comprehensive printed list of geographically indexed names and services described in this section.

(3)(A) The DVD shall show, in addition to the information described in this section, an ultrasound of the heartbeat of an unborn child at four to five (4-5) weeks’ gestational age, at six to eight (6-8) weeks’ gestational age, and each month thereafter, until viability.

(B) The information in the DVD shall be presented in an objective, unbiased manner designed to convey only accurate scientific information.

(e) The materials and the DVD required under this section shall be available at no cost from the department upon request and in appropriate number to any person, facility, or hospital.

Cite this article: - Arkansas Code Title 20. Public Health and Welfare § 20-16-1704. Publication of materials - last updated January 01, 2020 |

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