Friday, January 18, 2013

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement Friday celebrating the announcement Americans United for Life ranked Arkansas the fourth most pro-life state in the nation. This is up from fifth place in 2012.

“I’m proud to be an Arkansan for a lot of reasons,” Cox said. “This is just one more.”

According to statements from Americans United for Life, only three states have laws and policies protecting human life better than Arkansas: Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania.

Cox said the rankings have to do with a lot more than the issue of abortion. “When some people hear the words ‘pro-life,’ they think, ‘anti-abortion,’” Cox said. “Being pro-life is about a lot more. It’s about respecting human life at all levels, and that includes the elderly, the disabled, and the sick.

“Part of the reason Americans United for Life ranked us number-four on their Life List is Arkansas protects human life in a variety of ways. We protect the unborn. We protect children. We defend hospital patients. We uphold the rights of nursing home residents. We protect hospice patients. Our laws are very comprehensive.”

Cox said he hopes Arkansas can move from the fourth to first by next year. “There’s really no reason we should settle for anything less. If Louisiana can be number-one, I’m sure we can be. With the Arkansas Legislature in session, I believe we can pass some new bills that will further protect human life and move Arkansas up three more spaces.”

Cox said his group plans to advocate specific legislation that could make that happen. “I think there are a lot of pro-life laws Arkansas could pass. Making sure Arkansans don’t subsidize abortions with their tax dollars under Obamacare is a high priority. With all the medical breakthroughs of the past decade, healthcare workers face new questions about medical ethics. We want to strengthen laws protecting healthcare workers’ rights of conscience. We also want to pass laws specifying that abortion-inducing drugs must be administered in accordance with the FDA’s safety protocols.”

The Family Council is a conservative education and research organization based in Little Rock, Arkansas.