Arkansas continues to cement its spot as one of the most conservative states in the country after Gov. Mike Beebe signed two controversial bills into law.
Gov. Mike Beebe, a conservative Democrat, just signed two new bills that had passed through the state House and Senate. According to the Arkansas News, Senate Bill 71, now Act 67 of 2013, amends a previous law that had banned guns from churches. The new law allows a gun owner with a permit to bring a weapon into a church. Two Democratic representatives, Rep. Reginald Murdock (D-Marianna) and Rep. Darrin Williams (D-Little Rock) drafted HB1284 which would protect churches from liability for damages caused by gun action in the church after members of the clergy expressed concern.
Beebe also signed House Bill 1100, now Act 72, which limits a woman's access to abortion through the state's health insurance exchange. In order for a woman to receive abortion coverage, she would have to pay for it separately on an additional plan. Beebe is questioning whether to sign other anti-abortions bills, such as House Bill 1037 drafted by Rep. Andy Mayberry (R-Hensley) which would ban abortion after 20 weeks and Senate Bill 134, drafted by Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) which would require a woman who is attempting an abortion after 12 weeks to have a mandatory test for a heartbeat in the fetus.
Arkansas is generally considered one of the most conservative states in the country. After Gov. Beebe signed bills into law involving religion, guns and an attack on women's rights, it only continues to confirm that statement.