HB1174 to potentially charge women for receiving abortion

Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 4:49 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 8, 2023 at 5:18 PM CST
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A bill in the Arkansas House of Representatives could leave women who receive an abortion with homicide charges.

House Bill 1174 was filed in January in the house.

Not only could the bill charge a woman for receiving an abortion, but it also could charge someone for pressuring a woman into receiving an abortion.

Both pro-life and pro-choice organizations are speaking out against the bill.

“This is not a piece of legislation that we would ever support. In fact, we put in our legislation many times that a women must not be charged or cannot be charged,” said Rose Mimms, Executive Director of Arkansas Right to Life.

The legislation, filed by District 90 Representative Richard Womack of Arkadelphia, could lead to prosecuting women for their child’s death.

“On face value, it looks pretty good, except when you get to the part where they want to put women in jail. To criminalize women who have abortions or have had abortions. Women are a second victim in every abortion.”

Ali Taylor, Executive Director of the Arkansas Abortion Support Network, said the legislation concerns women in Arkansas.

“The possibility of jailing people for having abortions is a draconian measure that does not help anyone. It does not benefit communities or families,” explained Taylor. “It would only harm them further.”

She said legislators should be focused on more significant issues in the state.

“This is the wrong move for the state. For the people of this state. We have much more serious problems that we need to address.”

Region 8 News contacted Rep. Richard Womack multiple times for a comment on his legislation but would never agree to an interview.