Hundreds gather for pro-choice rally at Capitol

    2:02 PM, Mar 24, 2013   |    comments
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    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Shouts tempered with animosity showered the Capitol steps as pro-choice advocates voiced their concern with Arkansas' legislative decision to restrict certain abortions. Hundreds showed up to protest.

    "No woman should have a choice taken from her," said Marti McKowan.

    McKowan protested against abortion restriction in the 70's and now she's unexpectedly at it again.

    "You can't legislate morality; you can't treat us like brood mares," says McKowan.

    Despite vetoes by Governor Beebe the Arkansas General Assembly adopted two strict abortion bills into law. One bans abortions at 20 weeks or when experts believe a child can feel pain. The other law bans abortions at the detection of a fetal heartbeat between 12 and 14 weeks.

    While most at the rally took shots at state politicians, pro-life supporters appreciate their new legislation.

    "Those men they still know that abortion affects women. A lot of them are husbands and have children of their own so they know firsthand that life is also precious and that it's worth protecting," says Sarah Bean of Family Council.

    Pro-choice men also showed up at the rally. H.L. Moody questions lawmakers balance on freedom issues.

    "People are really quick to take up for religious freedom, but when it comes to things like reproduction freedom they suddenly are anti-freedom," says Moody.

    McKowan protests in hopes of protecting her children and grandchildren.

    "I do care about the right for them to have to make that decision," says McKowan.

    Rita Sklar of Arkansas ACLU said from the podium the group will sue the state for the two abortion ban bills.

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