By Dave Andrusko
After twice rejecting ballot language for the Arkansas Abortion Amendment, Attorney General Tim Griffin certified ballot language Tuesday for a proposed constitutional amendment that critics say would enshrine abortion in the Arkansas Constitution and gut Amendment 68 which says it is the policy of the state of Arkansas to protect unborn babies from conception until birth.
“When reviewing proposed ballot initiatives, I follow an 80-year-old process. I am and have always been strongly pro-life, but the law does not allow me to consider my own personal views,” Griffin said in a statement. “I am guided by the law and the law alone. I routinely certify proposals I personally oppose. Conversely, I routinely reject proposals I personally support.”
Griffin’s decision “clears the way for the group behind the effort, Arkansans for Limited Government, to begin the signature collection process to get their proposed amendment on the November 2024 ballot,” Neal Earley reported for the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. That collection will begin Sunday at a rally in Fayetteville.
Ostensibly there are limits to the Arkansas Abortion Amendment of 2024. According to Earley
Specifically, the proposed amendment says the state “shall not prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion services” in cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal anomaly or to protect a woman’s life or “a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury.” The amendment also says the state “shall not prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion services within 18 weeks of fertilization.”
But this is not the case. As seen in previous successful attempts to enshrine abortion in the state Constitution, pro-abortionists have hidden the breadth and depth of their proposals.
The Arkansas Abortion Amendment “could wipe out all Arkansas laws that protect women, ensure clinic inspections, licensing, and safety when it comes to abortion, and prevent parents from knowing about or being involved in their minor child’s secret abortion,” according to Arkansas Right to Life. “There could be no law protecting unborn babies capable of feeling pain from being tortured to death by dismemberment or dying from neglect if they survived an abortion.”
Pro-life groups, including Arkansas Right to Life, NRLC’s state affiliate, are encouraging Arkansans to “Join the DECLINE TO SIGN Campaign.” Arkansas Right to Life is “asking all Arkansans unwilling to sign a death warrant on innocent unborn children to POLITELY Decline to Sign when approached.” As they noted, paid canvassers will now hit the streets.
“We have already joined with other pro-life, pro-family organizations and individuals to strategize to confront this assault on the lives of Arkansas women and children. The fight is on and we are up to the challenge!” (See “Stand Against the Radical Arkansas Abortion Amendment!”).
A constitutional amendment “needs at least 90,704 verified signatures from registered voters, which has to be turned in to the secretary of state’s office by July 5” to make the ballot,” Earley writes, “Under Arkansas law, the attorney general has the authority to certify, reject or rewrite ballot language for a proposed amendment.”