Americans United for Life ranked Arkansas the fourth most anti-abortion state in the nation this month. Arkansas was also recognized by the organization as their top All Star State for passing seven anti-abortion laws last year.
These laws include preventing the state funding of abortion clinics, a law requiring a 48-hour waiting period before an abortion can be performed, strengthening the requirements concerning abortions performed on minors and a law requiring providers of drug-induced abortions to follow United States Food and Drug Administration protocols. Several of these laws were based on Americans United for Life’s model legislation, featured in their Women’s Protection Project.
“This is a historic time for life. More life-affirming and protective state laws have been enacted since 2010 than in any similar period since Roe v. Wade, and Americans United for Life has been involved in nearly one-third of abortion-related measures enacted over the last six years,” AUL CEO, Charmaine Yoest, said, according to their website.
Despite this, not all John Brown University students see the need for additional laws.
“As much as I am against abortion, I don’t think we should have more laws against it. It would just drive abortion into an illegal service and would be much riskier for the women having the abortion,” Ariana Odom, senior psychology major, said.
Despite being pro-abortion rights, Allyssa Alvarado, senior English major, agreed with what Odom said.
“I can understand why they want to try and deter people away from the choice of abortion, but I don’t think it really helps,” Alvarado said.
“If anything, I think that there should be steps taken to make it a safer and more accessible option. I don’t think the law should be concerned with the choices people make, but the safety of the people,” she added.
Several John Brown University students supported such anti-abortion efforts.
“I’m against abortion. To me, it’s like telling someone, ‘You’re a burden to me. Let’s end your life,” chemistry graduate, Kristina Matney said. “Adoption is a better option in my opinion or we could educate our youth on how pregnancy happens and give them the tools they need to prevent it.”
Chemistry graduate, Hannah Wright, also said she is anti-abortion.
“As soon as a new organism is formed in the womb, it should be treated like a person,” Wright said. “There’s no scientific reason to believe that a fetus at any stage of development is any different than a child, except that it’s hard to humanize someone you can’t see.”
In addition to the new laws, Arkansas’ abortion rate has been dropping.
“This high national ranking and the fact that Arkansans’ abortion rate is near the lowest it has been since the 1970s, prove the efforts of so many are finally paying off,” Family Council President Jerry Cox said in a press release.
Cox also stated that while Arkansas needs more anti-abortion laws, the public should volunteer at pregnancy and adoption centers in order to help women with unplanned pregnancies.