Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed a bill into law to create a monument dedicated to memorializing the 64 million babies killed in abortions. Arkansas has an abortion ban in place that protects women and unborn babies and now the state wants to acknowledge those babies whose lives were destroyed by abortions.
The bill authorizing a pro-life monument at the Arkansas Capitol. S.B. 307 by Sen. Kim Hammer (R – Benton) and Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville) authorizes a monument on the state capitol grounds commemorating the unborn children whose lives were lost in abortion.
The law sets up a “Monument to Unborn Children Display Fund” to raise money “for the purpose of erecting and maintaining a suitable monument on the State Capitol grounds commemorating unborn children aborted during the era of Roe v. Wade,” and requires the Arkansas secretary of state to “permit and arrange placement” of the memorial.
“This is a really simple bill which will allow citizens in the state to donate money for a monument so that we never forget the lives that were lost,” Bentley said.
The legislation establishes trust fund for privately supported Capitol memorial that mourns “unborn children aborted” in Arkansas. The bill estimates that between 1973 and 2022, at least 236,243 unborn children were aborted in Arkansas.
The Republican House approved the monument 60-19 after the Senate passed it previously. Ten Republicans and one Democrat voted “present” on the bill, which has the same effect as voting against it.
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Republican Rep. Mary Bentley, the bill’s House sponsor, said the legislation would allow the state to raise private money for a memorial to “remember those children we were not able to protect and we will not be able to forget.”
A law Arkansas approved in 2019 banning nearly all abortions took effect last year when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1973 Roe decision. Arkansas’ ban only allows abortions to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency.
The legislation doesn’t specify where the monument would go on the Capitol grounds, which includes several other monuments, including one honoring the nine Black students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School. The Capitol grounds also include a Ten Commandments monument that was installed in 2018.
Hammer has said he intends for the proposed monument to be tastefully done, adding there also are women who have regretted their abortions.
Under the bill, the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission would oversee the selection of the artist and design of the monument “with input from pro-life groups in Arkansas.”
S.B. 307 authorizes a privately-funded monument “as a memorial memorial to the lives lost from 1973 to 2022 due to the decisions of the United States Supreme Court, and as a constant reminder of our duty to protect the life of every innocent human person, no matter how young or old, or how helpless and vulnerable that person may be.”
Since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade in June of last year, abortion has been prohibited in Arkansas except to save the life of the mother.
Arkansas Family Council estimates that in the future, Arkansas’ pro-life laws could save up to 3,000 unborn children every year.