By Tim Yarbrough
LITTLE ROCK – Arkansas remains a staunchly pro-life state with strong conservative values following the mid-term elections.
Endorsements by the Arkansas Right to Life (ARTL) PAC resulted in 77 of 79 candidates being elected, said Rose Mimms, ARTL Executive Director.
“Our General Assembly, both the Arkansas House and Senate, hold pro-life majorities, and all of the Arkansas Constitutional officers and U.S. Congressional delegation are all pro-life champions,” said Mimms. She added, “Though we expect an attempt to weaken our abortion law to allow exceptions other than to save the life of the mother in the coming 2023 session, I believe we will continue to keep abortion illegal in Arkansas for many years to come barring any federal law that would take that right away from the citizens of Arkansas.”
Mimms applauded outgoing Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who is term-limited, as leading the state to pass 47 laws to protect life during the eight years of his tenure.
“Over the last 8 years Governor Asa Hutchinson has passed close to 50 (47) laws protecting all life in Arkansas, more than any governor in the history of Arkansas and I dare say our nation,” she said.
“Among the highlights of his administration was the successful decertification of Planned Parenthood as a Medicaid provider in Arkansas after the 2015 videos exposed them for whom they are: an organization driven by profits and greed in their grisly work of abortion,” said Mimms. “He was one of a few governors to take that action and to have the courts affirm his executive decision.”
Other Arkansas lawmakers Mimms credited with leading the pro-life charge were Senators Cecile Bledsoe and Jason Rapert.
“Senator Rapert’s Act 180 of 2019 was the ‘trigger law’ certified by Attorney General Leslie Rutledge that ended legal abortion on Friday, June 24, when the Dobbs decision was released overturning Roe and Casey and returning it to the states. Arkansas was ready, thanks to him,” said Mimms.
“Senator Bledsoe was an original sponsor of the Safe Haven Law when she was in the Arkansas House,” Mimms said. “Later in 2019 the law was amended to add a provision for safety devices to provide anonymous surrender that has led to three safe and successful surrenders that have given these infants to a forever family through adoption.”
Mimms added that First Lady Susan Hutchinson has been at her husband’s side in defense of life, especially through her work with Arkansas Advocates for Women and Children.
Arkansas Right to Life is hosting a special pro-life reception honoring the Gov. and Mrs. Hutchinson, along with Bledsoe and Rapert, on Nov. 14, at the Governor’s Mansion.
ARTL PAC endorsements that won office or were re-elected included federal offices: U.S. Senator John Boozman; and U.S. Congressmen Rick Crawford, French Hill, Steve Womack, and Bruce Westerman. State office candidates: Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Governor; Leslie Rutledge, Lieutenant Governor; Tim Griffin, Attorney General; John Thurston, Secretary of State; Dennis Milligan, State Auditor; Mark Lowery, State Treasurer, and Tommy Land, Commissioner of State Lands.