Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a new law that will allow a monument near the state capitol to mark the number of abortions performed in Arkansas before the US Supreme Court. Roe vs. Wade.
Sanders’ office said late Friday that the Republican governor signed into law the bill that will allow for the creation of a “monument to the unborn” on the Capitol grounds. The bill, approved by lawmakers last week, requires the secretary of state to authorize and organize the location of the monument.
It also requires the Capitol Grounds and Art Commission to oversee the selection of the artist and the design of the monument, with input from anti-abortion groups.
A law passed in Arkansas in 2019 that bans almost all abortions entered into force last year when the United States Supreme Court struck down the 1973 law Roe decision. The Arkansas ban only allows abortions to save the mother’s life in a medical emergency.
Tennessee lawmakers passed legislation in 2018 allowing a similar privately funded monument on Capitol grounds. The monument has not yet been installed.
The Arkansas proposal faced opposition from some anti-abortion Republicans who said it was counterproductive, and from Democrats who said the monument proposal was divisive.
Other monuments on the state Capitol grounds include a sculpture of the nine black students who made up Little Rock Central High School. A monument of the Ten Commandments it was installed on the Capitol grounds in 2018.