Friday, July  5, 2024

Little Rock, Ark. — On Friday, Family Council Action Committee announced plans to support and coordinate legal challenges against the Arkansas Abortion Amendment of 2024 and the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2024, if either amendment is approved for the November ballot.

Executive Director Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “If either of these amendments is certified for the November ballot, our organization will mount a legal challenge to have it removed from the ballot, or we will assist other organizations who step forward to challenge these measures in court.”

Cox said the Arkansas Abortion Amendment of 2024 is unclear, legally flawed, and puts women in Arkansas at risk. “The Arkansas Abortion Amendment is so fatally flawed that it has no business being on the ballot. It prevents the State of Arkansas from restricting abortion during the first five months of pregnancy for any reason. That is more extreme than Roe v. Wade. The measure says abortions may be ‘assisted’ by a physician, and that abortions ‘may’ be performed in a hospital or other licensed healthcare facility. It does not say that abortions must be performed in these facilities, and it does not say that abortions must be performed by a doctor or even by a medical professional. In fact, the amendment does not contain any medical licensing or health and safety requirements for abortions. This measure endangers the lives of the very women its proponents purport to help. Those are fatal flaws, and they are just some of the reasons why a court should remove it from the ballot.”

Cox said the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment of 2024 is also flawed and should be disqualified from the ballot. “The marijuana amendment would drastically expand marijuana in Arkansas. The amendment makes it possible for people to grow and use ‘medical’ marijuana without suffering from a specific medical condition listed in state law. The amendment also repeals restrictions that protect children from marijuana advertisements. The amendment’s ballot title is so complicated that it fails to explain to the voter exactly how the amendment changes Arkansas’ medical marijuana laws and what effect those changes will have on our state. That is one reason why this amendment is fatally flawed and should not appear on the ballot.”

Cox thanked the groups and individuals who are opposing the abortion amendment and the marijuana amendment. “The campaigns behind these measures paid hundreds of canvassers $30 to $50 an hour to scour the state for signatures. But our network of volunteers working against the abortion amendment and the marijuana amendment have been very successful because they have helped educate Arkansans about these extreme measures. That work will be vital if these campaigns continue to November.”

Cox said the group will announce further details regarding legal challenges once the Secretary of State finishes certifying ballot measures later this summer.