Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill Thursday to install a pro-life monument on state Capitol grounds. State Senate Bill 307, sponsored by Republican State Senator, Kim Hammer and Representative Mary Bentley, allows for the creation of a "monument to the unborn" on the grounds of the Arkansas State Capitol.
The statue will be financed by private funds "of gifts, grants, and donations from individuals and organizations" and will pay tribute to the unborn children aborted during the era of Roe v. Wade." For that reason, the monument will mark the total number of abortions performed in Arkansas before the Supreme Court overturned the controversial case and will aim, as Bentley said, to "remember those children we were not able to protect and we will not be able to forget."
Although the measure has been signed by Sarah Huckabee Sanders, other issues remain before the monument can be installed in front of the State Capitol. First, AP reported, the secretary of state must permit and arrange for the placement of the monument. In addition, it is also necessary for the Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission to "oversee the selection of the artist and the design of the monument, with input from anti-abortion groups."
Controversial move for several Arkansas Reps.
The bill attracted the opposition of several political representatives. Arkansas Democrats claimed the measure was political and would create division in the state. Representative Tippi McCullough was one of the opponents of this measure and voted against the legislation. According to a statement given to ABC News, she did so because "I could think of a thousand ways to better spend money that would be helpful to our citizens:"
This bill makes no real distinctions in the type of abortions it would enshrine with a statue on Capitol Grounds. That means a woman who went through a traumatic pregnancy that resulted in the death of her child-to-be would have to face a monument commentating that awful moment when she comes here to the people's house. Abortion was legal in this country for nearly 50 years. Putting a monument outside these walls won't change that. The state has no business in a woman's healthcare or in a family's tragedy.
The measure was also frowned upon by two Republicans who also voted against it, believing that the monument would not serve to help the pro-life movement. Jeremiah Moore said in a statement reported by Fox News, that it would only be used as "a weapon to rally against pro-life values:"
This monument will do nothing for the pro-life cause as we move forward together. It will only be used as a weapon to rally against pro-life values through fundraising and stirring up anger and vitriol.