Attorney General Tim Griffin rejected for a second time yesterday a proposed constitutional amendment seeking to make the state’s abortion restrictions a little less onerous.
Griffin rejected the popular name and ballot title submitted by Arkansans for Limited Government but cited only one lingering issue from his first rejection of the proposal. (Editor’s note: Arkansans for Limited Government includes For AR People, a content partner of the Arkansas Times.)
The measure would protect access to abortion services up to 18 weeks after fertilization and would allow for abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal anomaly or to protect the life or physical health of the mother.
According to the opinion from the attorney general’s office, the group defined the term “physical health” in a confusing and misleading way. The opinion suggested a small change that would fix the problem.
The group submitted its first ballot title to Griffin last year under the name “Arkansas Reproductive Healthcare Amendment,” but Griffin denied the popular name and ballot title on Nov. 28.
After the rejection, the group changed the name of the proposal to the “Arkansas Abortion Amendment” and addressed each of Griffin’s reasons for the denial except for one, according to Griffin’s opinion issued yesterday.
Griffin, a Republican, said the office’s opinion is unrelated to his views on the merits of the measure:
My decision to certify or reject a popular name and ballot title is unrelated to my view of the proposed measure’s merits. I am not authorized to consider the measure’s merits when considering certification.
Arkansans for Limited Government said in a statement yesterday that it plans to submit the ballot title to Griffin a third time:
As AFLG previously stated, the revised Arkansas Abortion Amendment carefully addressed each concern the Attorney General expressed in his November opinion. We are pleased that the AG largely agrees with the proposed changes. Our group will work with the drafter to make the singular correction requested in today’s opinion.
We will promptly submit a third draft.