An anti-abortion bill has failed in the state legislature after some lively testimony this morning.
The debate led to some heated exchanges between lawmakers and the public.
Here's a snippet:
"We had seven bills last time and you voted against every one of them. Now does that act like you're pro-life? I don't understand. Am I missing something?"
"I think you're probably missing quite a bit, but that's okay."
It happened this morning in a meeting of the Arkansas House Public Health, Welfare and Labor committee.
The chairman, Rep. John Burris (R-Harrison) asked members and the public to keep their comments on subject, and had to interrupt several times when things got off track.
House Bill 1100 would have stricken abortion coverage from state healthcare exchanges.
Opponents said it wasn't necessary because the Affordable Care Act doesn't cover elective procedures.
But the bill's sponsor, Rep. Butch Wilkins (D-Bono), says the law may be amended, and he wasn't trying to stop abortions, he just doesn't think they should be funded by taxpayers.
The final vote was 10 for, 7 against, but it needed 11 to pass.
Four lawmakers were absent from the meeting, and if the bill gets the votes to pass, we could see it again on Thursday.
Original story (10:45 a.m.):
At the State Capitol this morning, a portion of the Arkansas House is talking about abortion.
The House Public Health, Welfare and Labor committee is hearing testimony on the hot button issue.
Rep. Butch Wilkins (D-Bono) has presented a bill (HB1100) to strike abortion coverage from the Health Insurance Exchange.
"This bill will prohibit taxpayer money from paying for an abortion. I feel taxpayer money shouldn't be used for it," he said.
The ACLU's attorney said HB1100 is illegal under Roe v. Wade and that an elective abortion is not covered under the Affordable Care Act. She said also that the bill has no exceptions for rape, incest or the health of the mother.
Rep. Andy Mayberry (R-Hensley) shared that the committee is compelled by Arkansas Amendment 68 to pass HB1100.
A supporter of HB1100 testified that since 1943, Arkansas women have had 100-thousand abortions.
The ACLU's attorney then came under fire from several Republican committee members before Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) said abortion is between a woman, her husband and God.
What followed was a feisty exchange between Rep. Leding and an anti-abortion advocate.
Rep. John Burris warned those in the room and on the committee to maintain their decorum during the debate on HB1100.