Zero Abortions in Arkansas for 2023: A Pro-Life Victory

Arkansas Right to Life Executive Director Rose Mimms said the ADH’s report of no abortions, even to save the life of the mother, shows abortion does not need to be available for any reason.

The Arkansas and American flags are in front of the Arkansas State Capitol Building in Little Rock, Ark.
The Arkansas and American flags are in front of the Arkansas State Capitol Building in Little Rock, Ark. (photo: Damon Shaw / Shutterstock)

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) released its yearly report on induced abortions, recording no abortions in the state in 2023. 

Following the landmark Dobbs v. Jackson decision in 2022, Arkansas law prohibited abortion in all cases except to save the life of the mother. Prior to the Dobbs decision, the ADH reported around 3,200 abortions on average each year. Arkansas is one of 14 states with a “total ban” on abortion.

“It’s the constant teaching of the Church that abortion is always gravely immoral, and we know it’s never medically necessary, so we do welcome that report,” said Catherine Phillips, director of Respect Life in the Diocese of Little Rock. 

The Family Council published a press release on June 3, which stated:

“All in all, our team estimates Arkansas’ pro-life laws are protecting thousands of women and unborn children from abortion each year. Arkansas’ pro-life laws are protecting women, and they are saving unborn children. That is something to celebrate.”

Arkansans for Limited Government is working to counter the current abortion laws in Arkansas. The group is collecting signatures to put the “Arkansas Abortion Amendment” on the ballot this November. If passed, the amendment would allow women to obtain abortions up to 18 weeks of pregnancy in cases of “rape, incest, fatal fetal anomaly” and “to protect a pregnant female’s life or to protect a pregnant female from a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury.”

Arkansas Right to Life Executive Director Rose Mimms said the initiative is “using these very rare cases to make abortion available for any reason.” She said the ADH’s report of no abortions, even to save the life of the mother, shows abortion does not need to be available for any reason.

“The citizens of Arkansas share in the responsibility to legally protect every human life from conception to natural death,” Bishop Anthony Taylor of the Diocese of Little Rock explained in a statement in February. “It is critical that all registered voters decline to sign the petition to allow the Arkansas abortion amendment on the November 2024 ballot.”

The ADH’s report includes neither the number of chemical abortions achieved through medications received by mail nor women who have traveled across state lines to obtain abortions. 

The state has experienced more mothers surrendering babies as more women are choosing life. “In just the last few weeks, we have had two instances of parents who have surrendered their newborn babies at our fire stations because they believed they had no other choice, for whatever the reason,” Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said in a May 15 press release

A “Safe Haven” baby box was just installed at one of Little Rock’s fire stations. Mimms said the option “can help a mother to safely surrender her child to an official location, hospital, law enforcement or manned fire department in Arkansas or anonymously in a Safe Haven Baby Box.”

Phillips said pro-life efforts in Arkansas continue to provide women and families with resources to choose life. 

“We do know the reality is that people do choose abortion, but we work for a world where people won’t choose abortion, where people don’t think it’s their only choice,” Phillips said. “We have a very robust network of pregnancy centers, nonprofits and other organizations to help women and families, and, of course, we hope that every one of our parishes is coming alongside women that face challenges.”

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments on March 26, 2024, for a lawsuit brought by the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM), which seeks to impose more restrictions on the prescription of mifepristone.

Pope, G7, Comedians and Skeletons and USCCB meeting and SCOTUS on Mifepristone (June 15)

The Pope, G7 and AI, celebrity comedians, the discovery of an unexpected skeleton and celebrating Big Bang Theory were among Vatican news items this week. CNA’s Hannah Brockhaus reports from Rome. Then Matthew Bunson covers the US Bishops spring meeting and CNA’s Ken Oliver reports on the Supreme Court’s rejection of pro-life doctors’ case against the abortion pill mifepristone.