New Arkansas law allows anti-abortion monument at state capitol : NPR
Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed new legislation that will allow a monument near the state Capitol marking the number of abortions performed in Arkansas before the U.S. Supreme Court was ruled canceled Roe v. Wade.
Sanders’ office said Friday night that the Republican governor signed the bill that will allow for the creation of a privately funded “monument to the unborn child” on the grounds of the Capitol. The bill, approved by lawmakers last week, requires the secretary of state to authorize and organize the placement of the monument.
It also demands that the Capitol’s Arts and Grounds Commission oversee the selection of the artist and the design of the monument, with input from anti-abortion groups.
A law approved by Arkansas in 2019 banning nearly all abortions went into effect last year when the US Supreme Court struck down the 1973 law deer decision. Arkansas’ ban only allows abortions to save the mother’s life in a medical emergency.
Tennessee lawmakers approved legislation in 2018 allowing a similar, privately funded monument on its grounds in the Capitol. The monument has not yet been installed.
Arkansas’ proposal faced opposition from some anti-abortion Republicans who said it was counterproductive and Democrats who said the monument proposal was divisive.
Other monuments on the grounds of the State Capitol include a sculpture of the nine black students who entered Little Rock Central High School. A Ten Commandments monument was installed on the Capitol grounds in 2018.