"This bill will prohibit taxpayer money be used for an abortion," Wilkins said.
People crowded into Tuesday's Public Health Committee meeting where lawmakers considered a measure to strike abortion coverage from the state's healthcare exchange.
Representative Greg Leding questioned the need for the bill, asking, "Isn't it true at this point absolutely no taxpayer money is used to pay for abortions?"
Leding's comment was affirmed by ACLU lawyer Bettin Brownstein.
"I want to make it clear," Brownstein said. "This bill is unnecessary to defend taxpayer money from funding elective abortion."
Bill supporters maintained the law change was necessary. Nancy Emmons, an anti-abortion advocate from Hot Springs, criticized the committee's record on abortion.
"We had seven bills last time and you voted against every single one of them," Emmons testified. "Now does that sound like you're pro-life?"
Leding answered the Emmons accusation, saying the committee had never voted in favor of abortion, just a woman's right to choose.
"It's between them, their doctor, and their God and that's it," Leding said.
The bill received 10 votes, but needed 11 to pass.