Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed into law the “Monument to Unborn Children Display Act,” which would allow the placement of a monument on State Capitol grounds to commemorate all the babies that were aborted during the Roe v. Wade era.
The bill also includes a private fund that will be set up to finance the creation of the monument and further delegates the oversight of the design to the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission. The Secretary of State will decide on the final design and placement of the monument.
The legislation, also known as Senate Bill 307, argues that Arkansas was not allowed to protect the lives of unborn children because of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which established the constitutional right to abortion. According to the bill from 1973 through 2022, there had been 236,243 elective abortions performed. These lives lost will be commemorated by the monument, which will help serve “as a constant reminder of our duty to protect the life of every innocent human person.”
Arkansas Rep. Mary Bentley explained that the legislation allowed the state to raise the private funds required for the memorial.
However, the bill has opposition. Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, condemned the bill and called it a “performative political stunt.”
Arkansas has a complete ban on all abortions, with the only exception being in cases where the mother’s life is endangered by the pregnancy. The bill was passed with 90-19 votes in the House.