Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
 
STATE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH PROFILE

Arkansas

NATIONAL BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT

Despite the demonstrable importance and ubiquity of contraception, the truth is that ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted and planned is difficult, at both the individual and the societal levels. For the typical American woman to have two children, she will spend about five years pregnant, postpartum or attempting to become pregnant, and three decades—more than three-quarters of her reproductive life—trying to avoid pregnancy. Not all women, however, are successful: About half of all pregnancies in the United States each year—more than three million of them—are unintended. By age 45, more than half of all American women will have experienced an unintended pregnancy, and at 2008 rates about three in ten will have had an abortion. Nonetheless, contraceptive use can and does dramatically reduce women's odds of having an unintended pregnancy.

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • In 2010, there were 607,900 women of reproductive age (aged 13-44) in Arkansas, 317,720 of whom were in need of contraceptive services and supplies. Of these:
    • AGE: 47,430 were under the age of 20 and 270,210 were aged 20-44.
    • INCOME: Among women aged 20-44, 60,820 were below 100% of the federal poverty level.
    • RACE/ETHNICITY: 220,570 were non-Hispanic white; 58,350 were non-Hispanic black; and 23,110 were Hispanic.
  • In 2010, there were 198,090 women in Arkansas in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies. Of these, 47,430 were in need of publicly supported services because they were sexually active teenagers, and 150,610 because they had incomes below 250% of the federal poverty level.
  • In 2012-2013, 28% of women aged 15-44 in Arkansas were uninsured, while 17% were enrolled in Medicaid.

For more information, see Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2010

PREGNANCIES, BIRTHS AND ABORTIONS

  • In 2011, there were 51,300 pregnancies to the 571,449 women of reproductive age (15-44) in Arkansas; 76% of these pregnancies resulted in live births and 9% in induced abortions.
  • In 2008, 57% of pregnancies in Arkansas were unintended. There were 31,000 unintended pregnancies to women in Arkansas, producing a rate of 55 per 1,000 women of reproductive age.
  • Of all unintended pregnancies in Arkansas in 2008, 68% resulted in live births and 17% resulted in induced abortions.
  • In 2008, 73% of births in Arkansas resulting from unintended pregnancies were publicly funded, compared with 60% of all births and 46% of births resulting from intended pregnancies.
  • Of the 24,500 publicly funded births in Arkansas in 2008, 15,400 resulted from unintended pregnancies.
  • Births resulting from unintended pregnancies in Arkansas accounted for $184 million in public costs in 2008, including $135 million in federal costs and $50 million in state costs.
  • In 2011, 4,370 women obtained abortions in Arkansas, producing a rate of 7.6 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age. Some of these women were from other states, and some Arkansas residents had abortions in other states, so this rate may not reflect the abortion rate of state residents. The rate declined 11% since 2008, when it was 8.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44. Arkansas represents 0.4% of all abortions in the United States.
  • In 2010, 5,710 Arkansas residents obtained abortions, producing a rate of 10.0 per 1,000 women of reproductive age.
  • In 2010 , there were 7,220 pregnancies to Arkansas teens aged 15-19; 86% of these pregnancies resulted in live births and 14% in induced abortions.
  • In 2008, 860 teens obtained abortions in Arkansas, producing a rate of 9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-19.
  • In 2011, there were 5 abortion providers in Arkansas; 4 of those were clinics. This represents a 17% decrease in overall providers and a 25% decrease in clinics from 2008, when there were 6 abortion providers overall, of which 4 were abortion clinics.
  • In 2011, 97% of Arkansas counties had no abortion clinic; 78% of Arkansas women lived in these counties.

For more information, see State Facts About Abortion

PUBLICLY FUNDED CONTRACEPTIVE SERVICES

  • In 2010 in Arkansas, 145 safety net health centers provided contraceptive care to 83,940 women—including 19,140 teenagers.
  • Safety net health centers in Arkansas served 42% of all women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies in 2010.
  • In Arkansas, $152 in public funds was spent on contraceptive services and supplies per woman in need in 2010.
  • In Arkansas, 89 safety net health centers that received some support through the federal Title-X family planning program provided contraceptive care to 77,070 women—including 18,170 teenagers in 2010.
  • Title-X-supported centers in Arkansas served 39% of all women in need of publicly supported contraceptive services and supplies in 2010.

For more information, see Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2010

IMPACT OF PUBLICLY FUNDED CONTRACEPTIVE SERVICES

  • Publicly funded family planning services help women to avoid pregnancies they do not want and to plan pregnancies they do. In 2010, these services helped women in Arkansas avoid 21,000 unintended pregnancies, which would likely have resulted in about 10,400 unintended births and 7,200 abortions.
  • Contraceptive services provided at Title X-supported centers in Arkansas helped prevent 19,300 unintended pregnancies, which would likely have resulted in about 9,600 unintended births and 6,600 abortions.
  • The services provided at publicly funded family planning centers in Arkansas saved the federal and state governments $105,500,000 in 2010.

For more information, see Contraceptive Needs and Services, 2010

STATE POLICIES

Policy Summary Table, as of July 1st, 2014

ABORTION
Abortion Policy in the Absence of Roe v. Wade
State would restrict abortion to maximum extent permitted by Supreme Court
Pre-Roe abortion ban still in place
Abortion Counseling and Waiting Periods
Mandated counseling includes information designed to discourage abortion
State imposes waiting period between counseling and abortion Prior day
Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions
Parent must consent to an abortion One parent
Restrictions on Private Insurance Coverage of Abortion
No policy in effect 
Public Funding of Abortion for Poor Women
Public funding is available in cases of life endangerment, rape or incest Only life, rape or incest.
Refusal Clauses for Abortion Services
Medical professionals may refuse
Medical institutions may refuse All institutions
ADOLESCENTS
Minors' Consent to Contraceptive Services
All minors explicitly permitted to consent
Minors' Consent to STI Services
All or some minors explicitly permitted to consent All minors
Parental Involvement in Minors' Abortions
Parent must consent to an abortion One parent
Sex Education
Sex education must either stress or cover abstinence Stress
STI/HIV education must either stress or cover abstinence Stress
CONTRACEPTION SERVICES AND FINANCING
Emergency Contraception in Emergency Rooms
Information must be provided
Private Insurance Coverage of Contraceptive Services
Insurance coverage mandated
Employers may refuse to provide coverage Religious employers
Medicaid Family Planning Expansions
Eligibility for Medicaid family planning based on income 200% Federal Poverty Level
Contraceptive Access in Pharmacies
No policy in effect 
Refusal Clauses for Contraceptive Services
Health care providers may refuse
Pharmacists or pharmacies may refuse Pharmacists
Medical institutions may refuse Private institutions
Minors' Consent to Contraceptive Services
All minors explicitly permitted to consent

For more information, see State Policies in Brief