State Watch

Huckabee Sanders signs law paving way for anti-abortion ‘monument to the unborn’

AP Photo/Will Newton
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ education reform bill, the LEARNS Act, will raise salaries for public school teachers and could have an impact on gender equity in education jobs.

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) has signed a law that paves the way for a “monument to the unborn” to be built on the state capitol’s grounds, her office announced on Friday.

The law aims to erect a monument “as a 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.”

The text of Arkansas Senate Bill 307 rebukes the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, which established the right to an abortion, and subsequent decisions like the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

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.

Arkansas’s majority-Republican state House and Senate both approved the bill earlier this month, however two GOP lawmakers voted against the bill.

“Public memorials to our nation’s wars where we face an external threat are right and proper,” Republican Rep. Steve Unger, one of those no votes, said, per the Associated Press. “A memorial to an ongoing culture war where we seem to be shooting at each other is not.”

The Hill has reached out to Huckabee Sanders’ office for comment on the bill, which she signed on Thursday.

A so-called “trigger” ban on abortions approved back in 2019 took effect last year when the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. Arkansas currently bans abortions except to save the life of the mother, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

Tags abortion Arkansas Sarah Huckabee Sanders sarah huckabee sanders

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