Social conservatives see new hope in GOP legislative majority

LITTLE ROCK{} (Arkansas News Bureau) - Loyalists on both sides of social issues are gearing for a new round of clashes next year when the Legislature convenes with a new Republican majority.

Supporters of conservative causes such as restricting abortion rights expressed new optimism last week because of the coming shift in the legislative majority after nearly 140 years of Democratic control.

"We're ready for all of them," said Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas Chapter of the Americans for Civil Liberties Union. "Let it be said that we have been preparing for the usual battles and are ready to go."

"I expect it to be substantially easier in the Senate and slightly easier in the House," said Family Council Executive Director Jerry Cox, noting that in 2011 the Legislature approved just one abortion bill, House Bill 1855, now Act 1176 of 2011, which requires any abortion provider who provides 10 abortions a month to be licensed by the state. Myriad other bills on the subject died in committee.

Click here for more on this story from the Arkansas News Bureau.