The following is adapted from a column that appeared in Family Council’s March update letter.

The picture at the top of this page is the baby I am currently expecting. It is from our 21-week ultrasound—an ultrasound where my baby is close to viability on his or her own and is well-developed enough that features can be seen and organs examined to ensure the baby is developing properly.

The abortion amendment circulating in Arkansas right now would allow babies like my precious baby — little ones created in the very image of God — to be legally aborted. In fact, the radical and extreme “Arkansas Abortion Amendment” would resurrect Roe v. Wade in Arkansas and provide a new type of abortion on demand that Arkansas has never seen before. It would not allow the state to “prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict” abortion in any way for the first five months of pregnancy — 18 weeks after fertilization or 20 weeks gestation. This allows babies who have been alive within the womb for more than four months to be killed without a second thought, and this prohibition on common-sense limits would endanger even common-sense health and safety restrictions to protect the mother.

Babies could be killed up to the very moment of birth if a physician thinks they likely have a medical condition that would lead to death within the first month after birth. This is reliant on a “good faith” judgment call rather than hard scientific facts. And we all know that physicians are sometimes wrong in their diagnosis of a condition or their prognosis of when a person will live or die. Some babies who otherwise would have lived will most certainly be sentenced to death by late-term abortion under this provision.

The amendment would also be a major step back for parental rights in our state. Because of the “no restrictions or delays” language, Arkansas’ parental notification and consent laws would be endangered, allowing young girls to receive abortions without parental notification or consent. This lack of notice to parents also makes abuse, statutory rape, and human trafficking harder to stop. Because the amendment prohibits any restrictions or delays on abortion for the first five months and allows it up to birth in many circumstances, the State of Arkansas could be ordered by a liberal judge to use hard-earned taxpayer dollars to fund the deaths of innocent children — all the way up to birth.

When abortion becomes part of the very constitutional fabric of a state, it also becomes entrenched in the culture of a state. Often, it becomes a first line solution to the problem of unplanned pregnancies. The state becomes a culture of death instead of a culture of life. And the culture of death infects a state so that the implications are far-reaching.

Every baby has a right to life, just like my precious baby. And every mother deserves an opportunity to raise every one of her children—despite outside pressures from boyfriends, husbands, employers, and others. Valuing life has served our state well. When abortions were legal in Arkansas, records show that we lost 3,000 or more unborn human lives a year. That’s like losing the population of an entire Arkansas town every year. I believe we are better than this. Let’s link arms and become the state that says “no” to the culture of death and “yes” to a culture of life. Let’s spend ourselves on this battle and lend our time, energy, financial resources, prayers, and voices to standing firm for life. We have been chosen for this generation and this state for a reason, and we are each here “for such a time as this.” ~ Esther 4:14

Stephanie Nichols is Director and Chief Legal Counsel for Arkansas Justice Institute, a division of Family Council.