Nine Pro-Life Advocates Face Prison: Guest Column

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Last week, pro-life advocate Lauren Handy was sentenced to four years and nine months of prison time. Two others received lesser sentences, and nine in all have been convicted for obstructing “reproductive health services” in violation of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act. They were arrested during a protest at a notorious late-term abortion clinic in Washington, D.C., in October 2020. 

Terissa Bukovinac, founder of the protest’s sponsoring organization, Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, called the arrest and conviction “a new level of tyranny,” pointing out:   

There is no other social justice movement in our nation [whose] activists are subject to years in federal prison for nonviolent resistance. This blatant viewpoint discrimination has incalculable consequences for babies, their parents, those who defend them, and for peaceful activists across movements worldwide. I continue to stand by Lauren and the other 8 defendants who risked their freedoms to stand in defense of the least of us.

Copyright 2024 by the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Reprinted from with permission.

Planned Parenthood Criticizes Arkansas Legislature for Providing $2M to Support Pregnancy Centers, Maternal Wellness

On Tuesday the organization Planned Parenthood Great Plains Votes issued a statement on X (formerly Twitter) criticizing the Arkansas Legislature for providing $2 million to support pregnancy help organizations and maternal and infant wellness in Arkansas.

In April the Arkansas Legislature passed — and Gov. Sanders signed — S.B. 64 by Sen. John Payton (R – Wilburn). This good budget measure provides $2 million in state grant funding for pregnancy help organizations.

The $2 million will be disbursed as grants to pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, adoption agencies, and other organizations that provide material support to women with unplanned pregnancies.

This funding helps serve families at the local level without creating new government programs. The State of Arkansas is expected to start accepting grant applications from pregnancy help organizations in the coming months.

In 2022 and in 2023 Family Council worked with lawmakers and the governor to create this grant program for pregnancy help organizations. Since then more than two dozen good organizations across the state have applied for funding and used it to give women and families real assistance when faced with an unplanned pregnancy.

S.B. 64 makes improvements to the grant program. It increases state funding from $1 million per year to $2 million. This puts Arkansas’ funding on parr with funding in other states.

The law also clarifies that “pregnancy help organizations” include nonprofit organizations that promote infant and maternal wellness and reduce infant and maternal mortality by:

  • Providing nutritional information and/or nutritional counseling;
  • Providing prenatal vitamins;
  • Providing a list of prenatal medical care options;
  • Providing social, emotional, and/or material support; or
  • Providing referrals for WIC and community-based nutritional services, including but not limited to food banks, food pantries, and food distribution centers.

S.B. 64 also includes language preventing state funds from going to abortionists and their affiliates.

However, Planned Parenthood criticized the funding measure, posting,

There simply shouldn’t be anything controversial about the State of Arkansas awarding taxpayer funds to organizations that provide material support to women and children and that promote maternal wellness.

Fortunately, Arkansas’ lawmakers and governor don’t agree with Planned Parenthood.

Family Council is grateful to the General Assembly for passing S.B. 64, and we appreciate Governor Sanders signing it into law. We look forward to seeing the state implement S.B. 64 in the coming fiscal year.

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

Group Hires Canvassers to Put Abortion on the Ballot in Arkansas

The group working to enshrine abortion into the Arkansas Constitution has hired more than a dozen canvassers to collect signatures for its statewide petition drive, according to documents obtained from the Secretary of State’s office via the Freedom of Information Act.

Arkansans for Limited Government has until July 5 to collect 90,704 valid signatures from registered voters. As of April 30, the group has raised nearly $350,000 for its campaign, and it appears at least some of that money is being used to pay petition canvassers.

State law lets ballot question committees hire Arkansas residents as petition canvassers to collect signatures.

The list obtained via FOIA indicates Arkansans for Limited Government currently has 15 paid canvassers — all of whom appear to have been active since May 7 or later. The paid canvasser list is available below.

First NameLast NameCityDate of Submission to SOSCertifed that a criminal history and criminal record search was timely completed for each Paid CanvasserPaid Canvasser Affidavit signed
LatwanCrutchLittle Rock5/7/2024yesyes
KhalidJonesLittle Rock5/7/2024yesyes
CarlaWilliamsLittle Rock5/7/2024yesyes
BrendaWoodardLittle Rock5/7/2024yesyes
KarenHittLittle Rock5/7/2024yesyes
NevaehHolmanLittle Rock5/10/2024yesyes
EvelynAkinsLittle Rock5/10/2024yesyes
KhyraGarrettLittle Rock5/10/2024yesyes
ContonniaBrownLittle Rock5/10/2024yesyes
RayanaJordonLittle Rock5/10/2024yesyes
JamyiaBonnerLittle Rock5/14/2024yesyes
LavonnaEichelbergerHot Springs5/14/2024yesyes

If passed, the Arkansas Abortion Amendment would write abortion into the state constitution, allowing thousands of elective abortions in Arkansas every year.

The amendment does not contain any medical licensing or health and safety standards for abortion, and it automatically nullifies all state laws that conflict with the amendment. That jeopardizes even the most basic restrictions on abortion.

The measure contains sweeping health exceptions that would permit abortion through all nine months of pregnancy in many cases.

The amendment also would pave the way for publicly funded abortion in Arkansas by changing Amendment 68 to the Arkansas Constitution that currently prohibits taxpayer funded abortion in the state.

To date, multiple organizations have come out against the amendment, including:

You can download a copy of the abortion amendment here.

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