State of Arkansas Archives: on Abortion


Asa Hutchinson: Now we're the number one pro-life state in the nation

In each session, each general session while I have been governor, we have also supported children suffering from abuse, increased our support for foster children, and we have passed prolife legislation. And now we're the number one pro-life state in the nation.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 12, 2021

Leslie Rutledge: Honored for Arkansas to be named most pro-life state

It is an incredible day in the State of Arkansas to be named the most pro-life state in America by Americans United for Life. This has not been an easy road, but it is the most important fight we could take on and win. My office has successfully defended and won a number of pro-life cases, and as long as I am Attorney General, I will ensure we continue to fight for the lives and the rights of the unborn.
Source: Arkansas A.G. press release for 2022 Arkansas Governor race Dec 16, 2020

Dan Whitfield: Pro-choice but focus on sex ed & access to contraceptives

We need to make sure that every American child has the proper sex education, as well as access to contraceptives. By doing these two simple things we can end most unwanted pregnancies and then we would no longer have an abortion debate. Abortion should NOT be used as a form of birth control, but it should be available.
Source: 2022 Arkansas Senate campaign website DanWhitCongress.us Dec 6, 2020

Tom Cotton: Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided; let states decide

Q: You're on the record as saying that Roe v. Wade should go. Do you expect that if a Trump nominee has confirmed that she will vote to end a woman's right to choose?

COTTON: I'm pro-life, and my views on this are well-known. President Trump has assembled a highly capable pool of jurists who understand that their job is not to make the law, their job is to apply the law.

Q: But I assume you would support the idea of a justice voting to end Roe v. Wade?

COTTON: I believe Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided because it took that question away from the American people acting through their state legislatures. But beyond that I can't speculate.

Source: Fox News Sunday on 2020 Arkansas Senate race Sep 20, 2020

Mark West: Oppose abortion, but give options to women in crisis

Q: Do you support or oppose the statement, "Abortion is a woman's unrestricted right"?

A: Strongly Opposed, but believe we should create better local options for women in crisis or at risk pregnancies like private adoption, crisis pregnancy centers, financial support, etc.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Arkansas governor candidate Apr 28, 2018

Jared Henderson: Supports available legal abortion but won't run on the issue

He's been careful in discussing bedrock Republican hot buttons--abortion, gay rights, guns. He won't be campaigning on these issues. But I was happy to learn of the direction he leans. The adopted child of an unwed mother, Henderson says he understands the complexity of the abortion debate. He's said at a minimum the state shouldn't interfere in cases of rape, incest and health of the mother. But I asked him if he believed abortion should remain available legally in Arkansas and he said yes.
Source: Arkansas Times on 2018 Arkansas Gubernatorial race Dec 22, 2017

Frank Gilbert: Only allow abortion for rape, incest, and maternal life

Q: Under what circumstances should abortion be allowed?

Gilbert: To save the mother's life and in cases of rape or incest.

Q: What in the nature of mankind caused America's Founders to carefully define, separate, and limit powers in the Constitution?

Gilbert: Men tend to naturally consolidate power and then use/abuse it. The Constitution was designed to provide limits on such power and to provide the checks and balances that would keep one person or group from acquiring too much power.

Source: 2016 AFA Action iVoterGuide on 2016 Arkansas Senate race Nov 8, 2016

Curtis Coleman: Champion of the rights of the unborn

I am 100% pro-life and will be a champion of the rights of the unborn. Abortion is a moral blight on the conscience of our nation and it must be ended.
Source: 2016 Arkansas Senate campaign website, CurtisColeman.com Nov 11, 2015

Conner Eldridge: I'm personally opposed, but Roe v Wade is the law

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Conner Eldridge supports the right to an abortion as affirmed by the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Decision Roe v. Wade. A statement made to KUAR comes just one day after Eldridge said he was "personally" opposed to abortion, with some exceptions:

"Roe v Wade has been law for more than 40 years and I don't think it should be overturned. I have supported restrictions that Congress has imposed over the years, including the Hyde Amendment prohibiting federal funding of abortions. And I will continue to support restrictions that keep abortions exceedingly rare while recognizing exceptions for victims of rape, incest and where the life and health of the mother is at risk."

Eldridge is the first candidate to file in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Republican incumbent John Boozman both personally opposes abortion and as an elected official wants access to the procedure, granted by Roe v. Wade, ended.

Source: UALR Public Radio on 2016 Arkansas Senate race Sep 10, 2015

Mike Beebe: Vetoed abortion ban after 12 weeks

HB1037: An Act to Create the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and to Declare an Emergency:

Planned Parenthood case for voting NO: Planned Parenthood Action Fund today urged Governor Mike Beebe to veto the most restrictive ban on safe and legal abortion in the country. The blatantly unconstitutional 12-week abortion ban signals that 2013 may be even worse than the record breaking years of 2011 and 2012 for state legislation that limits women's access to health care.

Associated Press summary of Veto Message: Beebe said he vetoed the ban, which is based on the disputed belief that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, because it runs afoul of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion until the point where fetuses can survive outside the womb, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 75-20-5 on Feb/4/13; Passed Senate 25-7-3 on Feb/18/13; Vetoed by Gov. Beebe on Feb/26/13 (Veto overridden)

Source: A.P. on Arkansas legislative voting records HB1037 Feb 26, 2015

Bruce Westerman: No abortion after 12 weeks when fetus is "pain-capable"

HB1037: An Act to Create the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act and to Declare an Emergency:

Planned Parenthood case for voting NO: Planned Parenthood Action Fund today urged Governor Mike Beebe to veto the most restrictive ban on safe and legal abortion in the country. The blatantly unconstitutional 12-week abortion ban signals that 2013 may be even worse than the record breaking years of 2011 and 2012 for state legislation that limits women's access to health care.

A.P. summary of Veto Message: Beebe said he vetoed the ban, which is based on the disputed belief that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, because it runs afoul of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion until the point where fetuses can survive outside the womb, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

Legislative Outcome: Passed House 75-20-5 on 2/4/13; Rep. Westerman co-sponsored & voted YES; Passed Senate 25-7-3 on 2/18; Vetoed on 2/26 (Veto overridden)

Source: A.P. on Arkansas legislative voting records HB1037 Feb 4, 2015

Asa Hutchinson: Human life begins at conception

Question topic: Human life begins at conception and deserves legal protection at every stage until natural death.

Hutchinson: Strongly Agree

Source: Faith2Action iVoterGuide on 2013 Arkansas Governor campaign Sep 28, 2014

Tom Cotton: AdWatch: I believe in God; and only God has all the answers

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) is hitting back at Rep. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) in a new ad for questioning his faith. The spot, first shared with The Hill, is aimed at touting Pryor's religious conviction in the heavily religious state--and undercutting months of work Cotton's campaign has put in to bolster his own image with positive ads.

Cotton said last week that Pryor thinks "faith is something that only happens at 11 o'clock on Sunday mornings" in response to the Hobby Lobby Supreme Court decision over the health care law's contraception mandate. Pryor demanded an apology, but none was forthcoming, and the controversial comments got plenty of local attention.

Pryor's new ad features local news coverage the kerfuffle, interspliced with the Bible verse, "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

"I'm not ashamed to say that I believe in God, and I believe in His word. The Bible teaches us no one has all the answers, only God does," Pryor says in the ad. "This is who I am and what I believe."

Source: The Hill AdWatch on 2014 Arkansas Senate race Jul 8, 2014

Curtis Coleman: Supports umbilical stem cell research, but not embryonic

I have consistently and strongly supported stem cell research, especially umbilical cord stem cell research, and celebrate reports that more than 70 human diseases are being treated by this technology. I oppose, however, the specific kind of embryonic stem cell research that requires human life to be sacrificed by the destruction of a human embryo. We must be ever vigilant against allowing ourselves to rationalize our way into unjustly terminating life at any stage.
Source: Arkansas 2010 Senate campaign website, CurtisColeman.com Nov 1, 2010

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: Boozman's pro-life stance puts rapists over victims

LINCOLN: "Do you believe that the majority of Arkansans agree with your stance that the rights of rapists take priority over the rights of women who they've assaulted?"

BOOZMAN: "I don't know particular bill you're talking about."

LINCOLN: "We've got it in our research and I'd be glad to provide it to you."

BOOZMAN:"I don't think so."

Immediately after the debate the Lincoln campaign provided the following elaboration: "In 2005, Boozman voted against a motion to recommit legislation on parental notification that barred fathers, who committed rape or incest against a minor that resulted in a pregnancy, from being able to sue the doctor who performed an abortion. [HR 748, Vote 143, 4/27/2005]"

Boozman responded by saying the Lincoln camp took that vote out of context: "John Boozman supported The Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA), explicitly provided exceptions for cases where minors were the subject of sexual abuse or other physical abuse by a parent."

Source: Fox News TV-16 coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate Debate Sep 8, 2010

John Boozman: Opposes transporting minors across state lines for abortion

Immediately after the debate the Lincoln campaign provided the following: "In 2005, Boozman voted against a motion to recommit legislation on parental notification that barred fathers, who committed rape or incest against a minor that resulted in a pregnancy, from being able to sue the doctor who performed an abortion. [HR 748, Vote 143, 4/27/2005]"

Boozman responded by saying the Lincoln camp took that vote out of context: "Boozman supported making it a violation to transport a minor girl across state lines to procure an abortion, if done to evade a parental notification," the campaign says. "HR748 explicitly provided exceptions where minors were the subject of sexual abuse or other physical abuse by a parent. A pro-abortion advocate utilized a procedural tactic designed explicitly to kill the bill. Boozman opposed this maneuver that would have killed sound, prolife legislation. Sen. Lincoln1s efforts to paint Rep. Boozman as an advocate for 'rapists rights' are preposterous and shameful."

Source: Fox News TV-16 coverage of 2010 Arkansas Senate Debate Sep 8, 2010

Bruce Westerman: Pro-life; no exceptions for incest or rape

Q: Do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?

A: Pro-life.

Q: Should abortion be legal only within the first trimester of pregnancy?

A: No.

Q: Should abortion be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape?

A: No.

Q: Should abortion be legal when the life of the woman is endangered?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring parental notification before an abortion is performed on a minor?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring parental consent before an abortion is performed on a minor?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support sexual education programs that include information on abstinence, contraceptives, and HIV/STD prevention methods?

A: No.

Q: Do you support abstinence-only sexual education programs?

A: Yes.

Westerman adds, "If the woman's life is in imminent danger and both the mother and child are likely to perish then all medical procedures should be available to medical staff to save both or either life."

Source: Arkansas Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Bruce Westerman: Stem cell research ok, but not embryonic stem cell research

Q: Do you support state funding for stem cell research?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support state funding for embryonic stem cell research?

A: No.

Q: Do you support eliminating the state lottery?

A: Yes.

Source: Arkansas Congressional 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Blanche Lambert Lincoln: Take objective approach to judicial confirmation process

HOLT: During questioning from a panel of reporters, Holt, who served one term in the state House before being elected to the state Senate, said he opposes abortion and would not support any judicial candidate who supported abortion rights.

LINCOLN: Lincoln said she tries to take an objective approach to the judicial confirmation process and doesn’t want a judicial candidate “who interprets the laws based on their personal views and political views.”

Source: [Xref Holt] AR Senate Debate in Arkansas News Bureau Oct 29, 2004

Jim Holt: Would not support any pro-choice judicial candidate

HOLT: During questioning from a panel of reporters, Holt, who served one term in the state House before being elected to the state Senate, said he opposes abortion and would not support any judicial candidate who supported abortion rights.

LINCOLN: Lincoln said she tries to take an objective approach to the judicial confirmation process and doesn’t want a judicial candidate “who interprets the laws based on their personal views and political views.”

Source: AR Senate Debate in Arkansas News Bureau Oct 29, 2004

Mike Huckabee: Supports woman’s right-to-know legislation

[We should] provide for every person who’s contemplating the termination of her child during pregnancy that she has information, knowing fully and completely the procedure that is taking place and what it will mean. Commonly called the woman’s right-to-know legislation, it really goes back to school, back to educating people.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 9, 2001

Mike Huckabee: Pro-life, but respects choice as mandated law

I’m pro life, but I know not everyone agrees with me on that particular topic, and I respect that. I’ll probably never change my conviction on that, and some of you won’t change yours. But in this day in which we talk about choice and the importance of it, surely we can agree that if under the Supreme Court choice is mandated, that choice should be as educated a choice as is humanly possible.
Source: 2001 State of the State address to the Arkansas legislature Jan 9, 2001

  • The above quotations are from State of Arkansas Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Abortion.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Abortion:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
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Page last updated: Oct 12, 2021