Personhood Arkansas Wants Anti-Abortion Measure on Ballot
(KATV) An anti-abortion group has started grassroots efforts to make abortions illegal in the state by submitting language to the Attorney General's office to amend the state constitution.
Personhood Arkansas' effort is similar to the one defeated in Mississippi this year. Unlike Mississippi, Personhood Arkansas says their amendment would not affect birth control because it doesn't "cause" a death and they wouldn't outlaw in vitro because after all that's creating life. The Amendment would not have an effect on medical treatment for life threatening physical conditions intended to preserve life.
Holly Austin says the womb is a dangerous place to be and she wants to change that.
"A young lady at the age of 19, I faced an unplanned pregnancy. I was told by the doctor who confirmed my pregnancy that abortion would be the best thing for me to do that I had the rest of my life to live." But abortion wasn't an option for Holly Austin, who says life starts at conception and asks you to think about how everyone who is pro-rights is living. She had her daughter, now 9-years old and has an 18-month old son.
She adds, "That's why I'm so very personally involved in this movement, but I also can't go every single day knowing that every year in Arkansas 2,300 babies are lost to abortions, lives are lost to abortion."
Last year, Austin helped start a Personhood chapter in the state. In order to get the issue on the 2012 ballot, they submitted an amendment to the Attorney General's office to guarantee the right to life to every human being.
The ballot purpose reads, "No innocent person shall be denied the right to life. With respect to the right to life, the word "person" shall apply to all human beings, including newborn, at every stage of their development.
She explains, "After the AG's Opinion office, it goes to the Secretary of States office. They will have to give their approval and then we will have the opportunity to start collecting signatures."
Austin is ready for the long road ahead and welcomes a conversation with opponents. "I'm not worried about it, I expect it and I welcome it. I would love to sit down with anyone who is pro-choice. I honestly want to do the best for the citizens of Arkansas and all unborn children," she concludes.
If Personhood Arkansas gets the ok from all the agencies, they have to get a minimum of 73,800 signatures by July, their goal is 100,000.
Some people with abortion rights organizations think the initiative could work in their favor by encouraging voters to turn out, pointing out that the measure is extreme and similar measures in Colorado and Mississippi haven't passed.
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