Arkansas Proposed Abortion Amendment Moves Forward After Language Approval

Pro-abortion activists are beginning the signature-collection process for an amendment that would enshrine the right to kill the unborn into the Arkansas Constitution.

Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin certified a third draft of the proposed amendment on Tuesday after rejecting two previous iterations of the measure, the Arkansas Advocate reported.

The Arkansas Abortion Amendment of 2024 is backed by a ballot initiative group called Arkansans for Limited Government (AFLG). The group has until July 5 to collect 90,704 signatures from registered voters in order to make it on the ballot in November. The AFLG will begin with its signatures collection effort with a rally on Sunday at the Fayetteville Town Center.

“Just yesterday, we acknowledged what would have been the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Today, we are one step closer to restoring the freedom that was taken from individuals when Roe v. Wade was overturned,” AFLG Treasurer Jim McHugh said. “We won’t stop until Arkansans can use their voice at the ballot box in November.”

Abortion is outlawed in Arkansas except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency. If the amendment were to pass, it would not allow the state government to “prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion services within 18 weeks of fertilization, which equates to approximately 20 weeks since the first day of the pregnant female’s last menstrual period.” The amendment would also allow abortions in cases of rape, incest, a fatal fetal anomaly, or “to protect a pregnant female’s life or to protect a pregnant female from a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury.”

In an opinion, Griffin noted that he certified the proposed measure after clarifying the language of the ballot title and text. However, he cautioned the group “in light of the significance of the subject matter undertaken and the potential complexity and far-reaching effects” of the proposed amendment.

“Any ambiguity in the text of a measure could lead to a successful court challenge,” Griffin wrote. “Significant changes in law often have unintended consequences that, if known, would give voters serious ground for reflection.”

In a statement to the Arkansas Advocate, Family Council President Jerry Cox called the proposal “a radical amendment legalizing abortion in a way Arkansas has never seen before.”

“It writes abortion into the Arkansas Constitution,” Cox said. “It erases virtually all of Arkansas’ pro-life laws, and it allows abortion on demand without restriction through the first eighteen weeks of pregnancy.”

Griffin told the publication that despite his pro-life beliefs, he had to follow protocol when reviewing the proposed amendment.

“I am and have always been strongly pro-life, but the law does not allow me to consider my own personal views,” he said. “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.”

Activists in several other states are working to put abortion amendments on the ballot in 2024 after a string of state-level pro-abortion victories following the fall of Roe v. Wade in 2022.

 Katherine Hamilton is a political reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow her on X @thekat_hamilton.


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