CNN Singles Out Pro-Life Democrats in Arkansas, Elsewhere

On Tuesday CNN published a column singling out pro-life Democrats in state legislatures around the country.

The piece — titled, “Republicans have unlikely allies in their fight to restrict abortion at the state level: Democrats” — notes that “More than 140 Democrats from eight of the roughly dozen states with the most restrictive abortion laws voted in favor of the bans, and the vast majority of these state lawmakers were men.”

The piece goes on to single out various Democratic legislators around the country who voted pro-life — including former Arkansas lawmaker Bruce Maloch of Magnolia who voted for Act 180 of 2019 that generally prohibits abortion now that the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed Roe v. Wade.

The article notes,

In Arkansas, four of the state’s 29 Democrats voted in 2019 to pass the trigger ban that criminalized abortion under nearly all circumstances. They were all men. That same year, 14 male and five female Democrats in Kentucky voted for a similar state ban, representing nearly 40% of all Democrats in the state legislature at the time. And in Mississippi, nine male Democratic lawmakers voted in 2018 to pass the 15-week abortion ban that ultimately led to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The laws received almost unanimous support from Republicans, except for a single no vote in Arkansas.

Anyone who is surprised that a Democratic legislator would vote pro-life clearly hasn’t been paying attention.

Abortion used to be a bipartisan issue. Up until recent years plenty of pro-lifers could be found in both parties — especially in Arkansas.

For example, in 2011 the Arkansas Legislature passed Act 1176 requiring any facility performing 10 or more abortions per month to be licensed and inspected by the Arkansas Department of Health. The measure closed loopholes in Arkansas’ abortion laws, and it made it easier for the state to stop a facility from performing abortions. The bill had strong, bipartisan support in the Arkansas House and Arkansas Senate.

In 2013 lawmakers passed six pro-life measures — including Act 171 of 2013 that generally prohibits abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and Act 301 prohibiting most abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy if a baby’s heartbeat is detected.

These bills had enough bipartisan support that lawmakers successfully voted to override vetoes from Gov. Mike Beebe and pass them into law.

CNN tries to distinguish how men vote on abortion laws from how women vote, but women from both parties have sponsored, co-sponsored, or voted for pro-life legislation in Arkansas over the years.

The vast majority of likely voters in Arkansas believe that abortion should be either completely illegal or legal only under certain circumstances. The same is true for Americans in general.

Protecting women and unborn children from abortion should not be a partisan issue.

Life is a human right. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has reversed Roe v. Wade, Arkansas is protecting the right to life and supporting women with unplanned pregnancies.

Family Council looks forward to continuing to work with Arkansans to protect the lives of women and children in the future.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

Here Are The Number of Pro-Laws Each Arkansas Legislator Has Successfully Sponsored Since 2011

Recently Family Council wrote that the Arkansas Legislature passed 44 pro-life laws from 2011 – 2021.

Since then, our team has analyzed the number of times each member of the General Assembly sponsored a pro-life measure that passed into law.

Below is an overview of the number of successful pro-life measures that each legislator sponsored and passed from 2011 to 2021.

Arkansas Senate:

  • Sen. Gary Stubblefield (R – Branch): 7
  • Sen. Missy Irvin (R – Mountain View): 5
  • Sen. Jason Rapert (R – Conway): 5
  • Sen. Bob Ballinger (R – Ozark): 4
  • Sen. Cecile Bledsoe (R – Rogers): 4
  • Sen. Scott Flippo (R – Bull Shoals): 3
  • Sen. Blake Johnson (R – Corning): 3
  • Sen. Linda Collins-Smith (R – Pocahontas): 2
  • Sen. Trent Garner (R – El Dorado): 2
  • Sen. Kim Hammer (R – Benton): 2
  • Sen. Jim Hendren (I – Gravette): 2
  • Sen. Bart Hester (R – Cave Springs): 2
  • Sen. Charles Beckham (R – McNeil): 1
  • Sen. Ben Gilmore (R – Crossett): 1
  • Sen. Jeremy Hutchinson (R – Little Rock): 1
  • Sen. David Sanders (R – Little Rock): 1

Arkansas House of Representatives:

  • Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R – Springdale): 7
  • Rep. Sonia Barker (R – Smackover): 5
  • Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville): 3
  • Rep. Joe Cloud (R – Russellville): 3
  • Rep. Charlene Fite (R – Van Buren): 3
  • Rep. Jim Dotson (R – Bentonville): 2
  • Rep. Andy Mayberry (R – Hensley): 2
  • Rep. Julie Mayberry (R – Hensley): 2
  • Rep. Butch Wilkins (D – Bono): 2
  • Rep. Harlan Breaux (R – Holiday Island): 1
  • Rep. Karilyn Brown (R – Sherwood): 1
  • Rep. Ann Clemmer (R – Benton): 1
  • Rep. Charlie Collins (R – Fayetteville): 1
  • Rep. Tony Furman (R – Benton): 1
  • Rep. Justin Harris (R – West Fork): 1
  • Rep. Spencer Hawks (R – Conway): 1
  • Rep. Mark Lowery (R – Maumelle): 1
  • Rep. Clint Penzo (R – Springdale): 1
  • Rep. Rebecca Petty (R – Rogers): 1
  • Rep. Aaron Pilkington (R – Clarksville): 1
  • Rep. Nate Steel (D – Nashville): 1
  • Rep. Kendon Underwood (R – Cave Springs): 1
  • Rep. Jim Wooten (R – Beebe): 1

As far as we can tell, Sen. Gary Stubblefield has successfully sponsored more pro-life legislation in the Arkansas Senate than any senator in Arkansas history, and Rep. Robin Lundstrum has successfully sponsored more pro-life legislation in the Arkansas House than any representative in Arkansas history.

Many of the lawmakers on this list sponsored other good, pro-life measures that — for various reasons — did not pass into law.

Dozens of lawmakers have served as co-sponsors for pro-life legislation over the years. Many have voted pro-life at every opportunity in the Arkansas House or Arkansas Senate.

In 2021 the Arkansas General Assembly enacted more pro-life legislation than any state legislature in the nation. Thanks to the hard work of these lawmakers, Arkansas is the most pro-life state in America.

Read More About the Pro-Life Laws Passed From 2011 – 2021 Here.

Articles appearing on this website are written with the aid of Family Council’s researchers and writers.

Arkansas General Assembly Approves $1 Million for Arkansas Pregnancy Centers

On Thursday, March 3, by a vote of 75 to 19, the Arkansas House of Representatives made history with their final approval of $1 million in state funding for pregnancy resource centers in Arkansas. The Arkansas Senate previously approved the same funding bill by a vote of 27 to 4.

In speaking for the appropriation, State Rep. Robin Lundstrum and State Rep. Cindy Crawford told lawmakers if Arkansas is going to make abortion illegal, the State needs to step up and provide help for women with unplanned pregnancies.

As part of our long-term plan to reduce the demand for Abortion in Arkansas, in January, we met with Governor Hutchinson along with leaders in the Arkansas Senate and House. Our recommendation was for Arkansas to follow a dozen other states by launching a State-funded program for pregnancy centers. The Governor agreed.  House and Senate leadership drew up the plan and presented it as a part of this year’s state budget in Senate Bill 102.

Approximately, 45 non-profit pregnancy centers are in operation across Arkansas.  Having funds for ultrasound machines and other equipment as well as diapers, formula, maternity clothes, and other supplies will be a game-changer for many clinics.  Funds will be available through the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration after the new fiscal year begins on July 1.

Last year, we listed this funding for pregnancy centers as one of our goals for 2022.  I am pleased to report that we have achieved that goal—partially.  The next step is that we need to be ready to help pregnancy centers be successful in obtaining those funds without a bunch of strings attached. Here is how we plan to help. 

First, the Department of Finance and Administration will write rules for how to apply for funds and how the funds can be used. As with all rules, they have to take public comments, and the rules have to be approved by the legislature. If they’re not done right, we and others can weigh in and do our part in making the rules work properly.  Second, for any pregnancy center that needs help with navigating the application process, we plan to be there to help them from start to finish.  Our goal is to help pregnancy centers maximize every penny of this money.

Sometimes we forget the larger picture. I am reminded that we are not just funding pregnancy centers. These dollars will save the lives of unborn children.  None of us knows how many, but we’re safe to say that $1 million spent by pregnancy centers will help lots of women decide not to get an abortion.

That’s something to celebrate.