Bill to Ban Certain Abortions Generates Strong Opinions
Anti-abortion protestors rallied outside the only abortion clinic in the state, located in Little Rock in the midst of controversy.
A bill HB1037, sponsored by Rep. Andy Mayberry (R-Hensley) bans abortions in the state of Arkansas if a fetal heartbeat is detected after 20 weeks.
This group prayed as part of the annual event “40 days for life” to end abortion. This year, protesters have more ammunition as lawmakers are pushing a bill to ban most abortions.
“We are very excited about the bills that are being presented. We are prayerful that those bills will pass,” said Kandi Cox, 40 Days for Life Organizer. “We know that they are controversial, but we are just praying for our leaders right now that their hearts will be sensitive to the lives that are at stake.”
Democratic Rep. Greg Leding (D-Fayetteville) said he’s against the measure.
“To me, it’s a very personal decision,” Leding said. “It should be left to the parents, their doctor and their God.”
Leding said the bill complicates doctors’ jobs.
“It makes it difficult for them to practice their best judgment and most importantly I think that exemption for the health of the mother is so narrowly written as to potentially put women’s lives at risk,” Leding said.
Some lawmakers are concerned the bill doesn’t include an exemption for rape or incest.
“Representative Mayberry pulled his bill for the time being and is meeting with senators to see if they can’t come to some kind of agreement, but for now it’s stuck in the Senate,” Leding said.
The demonstration will go on for 40 days. Participants sign a statement of peace, promising to conduct themselves in a respectful manner.