The Arkansas House of Representatives approved a bill that would create a monument to “unborn children aborted during the era of Roe v. Wade” on State Capitol grounds.
Senate Bill 307 would create a private fund to cover the cost for the monument. The Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission will oversee the design of the monument, with the Secretary of State having final say over the monument’s design and placement.”
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mary Bentley, R-Perryville, likened the monument to memorials on the Capitol grounds commemorating the Little Rock Nine, firefighters and World War II veterans. The House voted 60-19 to approve the bill.
“Every single year after Roe was set in 1973, we’ve had a March for Life here because we did not forget,” Bentley said.
Some anti-abortion members spoke up against the bill, saying they did not feel a memorial would represent Christian values as they see it.
Rep. Steve Unger, R-Springdale, said a monument would look like “spiking the football” after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, clearing the way for Arkansas abortion ban to take effect which outlaws the procedure except in a case of medical emergency to save the mother’s life.
“Public memorials to our nation’s wars where we faced 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.”