FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, January 23, 2024
Little Rock, Ark. – On Tuesday the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office certified a popular name and ballot title for the Arkansas Abortion Amendment of 2024. The measure’s sponsors now can begin collecting the 90,704 petition signatures necessary to place the measure on the ballot this November.
Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “This is a radical amendment legalizing abortion in a way Arkansas has never seen before. It writes abortion into the Arkansas Constitution. It erases virtually all of Arkansas’ pro-life laws, and it allows abortion on demand without restriction through the first eighteen weeks of pregnancy. As many as three thousand unborn children could be aborted in Arkansas each year because of this amendment, and the State of Arkansas would be powerless to prevent it.”
Cox said the amendment prevents Arkansas’ lawmakers from enacting basic abortion regulations. “Under this amendment, lawmakers and voters would lose the ability to enact even basic abortion regulations. The measure says abortion cannot be restricted at all during the first eighteen weeks after fertilization. That means abortionists won’t be required to have parental consent before performing an abortion on an underage girl. Abortionists won’t be required to explain the abortion procedure to the woman beforehand. These are requirements that people on both sides of the aisle have supported in the past, but this amendment would prevent them.”
Cox said the amendment also fails to address basic health and safety standards for abortion. “Nothing in this amendment requires abortionists to be licensed to practice medicine in Arkansas. It doesn’t require abortionists to follow basic health and safety standards. It doesn’t ensure that abortion facilities will be licensed or inspected. Courts could use it to require the State of Arkansas to pay for abortions with taxpayer funds. These are serious flaws with the amendment.”
Cox said the amendment likely would result in thousands of unborn children aborted every year, if passed. “Prior to the 2022 Dobbs decision, there were upwards of three thousand or more elective abortions performed in Arkansas each year during the first eighteen weeks of pregnancy. If this amendment passes, we estimate that at least that many unborn children would be aborted each year. For those thousands of children, this amendment literally is a matter of life and death. That’s the most serious problem with this measure.”
Photo Credit: By jordanuhl7 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons