(DailyVantage.com) – Arkansas state lawmakers have approved the creation of a monument to abortion victims on March 14, which is set to be built near the state Capitol if signed off on Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
The monument plan was approved by the majority-Republican Arkansas House by 60-19 after having already passed the state Senate earlier in March and is now in the hands of the governor. The bill states that the memorial will be dedicated “to the lives lost from 1973 to 2022 due to the decisions of the United States Supreme Court.” It also estimates the number of unborn babies aborted in Arkansas during that time to be 236,243.
Rep. Mary Bentley, who co-sponsored the bill, said the monument would provide a dedicated space for pro-life people in Arkansas to remember the unborn children who were lost through abortion before it was outlawed in most cases in the state.
The bill additionally mandates that pro-life groups should be consulted on which artist should design the monument and what it should look like. The monument is set to be funded privately through donations and not by the taxpayer.
According to a report from AP, some pro-choice Republicans in the Arkansas state House criticized the plans for the monument, arguing that it would be better to focus effort on aid for pregnant women and the foster system.
Rep. Steve Unger — one such Republican who opposes the monument — described the plans as a memorial to a “culture war” which was ultimately divisive, while Rep. Jeremiah Moore warned the monument could be used by pro-choice activists as a symbol to fundraise from.
As of last year, in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning of Roe V. Wade, Arkansas only allows abortion in cases when the unborn child endangers the mother’s life.
On March 7, an attempt to reverse Arkansas’ law against abortion was shot down in the state House.
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