Arkansas Lawmakers Approve Proposal for 'Momument to the Unborn,' Send it to Governor

Arkansas Lawmakers Approve Proposal for 'Momument to the Unborn,' Send it to Governor

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is considering approval of a monument that would commemorate unborn babies aborted in Arkansas before Roe v. Wade was reversed.

The Republican House approved the proposal in a 60-19 vote to create a "monument to the unborn" on the Capitol grounds, Fox News reports.

The Senate previously approved the bill. The secretary of state will now be required to allow the monument and choose its location.

The bill's House sponsor, Republican Rep. Mary Bentley, said the law would allow the state to raise private funds for a monument to "remember those children we were not able to protect, and we will not be able to forget."

Republican Rep. Steve Unger said he voted against the measure because the proposal "has the look and feel of spiking the football" following last year's ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade.

"Public memorials to our nation's wars where we face an external threat are right and proper," Unger said. "A memorial to an ongoing culture war where we seem to be shooting at each other is not."

Democratic Sen. Clarke Tucker told the Senate earlier this month that the monument could be "painful" for women.

"This is injecting a contentious political issue to the grounds of the state Capitol, and it's doing so in a way that I would have to imagine is going to be painful for a lot of women who have gotten abortions in the last 50 years," Tucker said.

Under an Arkansas law approved in 2019, nearly all abortions are banned except to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency. The law took effect in 2022.

The legislation doesn't specify the monument's location. Capitol grounds already have monuments, including one honoring the nine Black students who desegregated Little Rock Central High School and one highlighting the Ten Commandments.

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Staff

Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and She blogs at The Migraine Runner.