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Legislature ready to consider abortion and gun bills

This week, state leaders will once again tackle two controversial issues: abortion and guns in church.
This week, state leaders will once again tackle two controversial issues: abortion and guns in church.

Monday, the right allowing you to carry a gun to church could become one step closer to reality. The bill goes before the full House Monday for a final vote. It is expected to make it to Governor Mike Beebe’s desk. Individual churches would then have the final say as to whether people can carry guns inside the building.

Also Monday, the House will consider one of three anti-abortion measures proposed so far this year. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would ban abortions if a woman is more than twenty weeks pregnant.

And, Tuesday morning, the House Committee on Public Health will discuss the Human Heartbeat Protection Act which would ban abortions if the heartbeat of a fetus is detected. It does allow for exceptions for rape cases and to save the life of mother. The Senate already passed the bill.

State Senator Jason Rapert sponsored the heartbeat bill, and he says he believes human life is worth fighting for.

"There is a time when you have to stand up for what is right and know that we have an illogical approach to abortion in our nation today," says Rapert.

The ACLU, which opposes the anti-abortion measures, promises to take legal action if they are signed into law.

"It's just a slap in the face for women, another slap in the face for women about making these personal medical decisions," says the ACLU’s Rita Sklar.

While Rapert says he is confident the fetal heartbeat bill will pass, the Beebe has not decided yet whether he will sign it.

Wednesday, the House will meet to talk about the Big River Steel Mill which is expected to bring five-hundred high paying jobs to Mississippi County.

The legislature will have to approve $125-million in bonds for the project to happen. That would be the state's obligation to lure the first ever "super-project" to Arkansas.
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