Attorney general candidates spar over abortion, recreational marijuanaPosted by On

During an Arkansas PBS debate Wednesday, Arkansas Attorney General candidates disagreed over Roe v. Wade, which affirmed a constitutional right to abortion in 1973. Democrat Jesse Gibson said the ruling was correct while Lieutenant Governor Tim Griffin, a Republican, said the case was not properly decided.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the case in June. The decision triggered the implementation of Act 180 of 2019 in Arkansas, which bans abortion in the state except to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency. 

“It’s been a long-time coming,” Griffin said. “It should be with the states. It’s with the states now.”

Gibson, who said women should have the right to bodily autonomy, called the decision “the most egregious form of overreach.” 

“It’s a matter of health, it’s a matter of safety and I will always protect that as your attorney general,” he said.

Griffin said he has a pro-life record, but has always supported exceptions for rape and incest. Arkansas’ abortion ban does not include these exceptions, but Griffin said legislators have been discussing the law and he expects that to continue when the General Assembly convenes in January. 

That’s still months away, said Gibson who asked how many women will “be put in impossible positions” before action is taken.

Gibson also expressed concern that arguments used to overturn Roe v. Wade could be used to overturn other legal precedents like same-sex marriage. Griffin said the…

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