LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Arkansas Sen. Jason Rapert, R - District 18, released the following statement Tuesday in response to SB134, which passed in the Senate last week.
"Last week, the Arkansas State Senate voted in favor of SB134, otherwise known as the "Heartbeat Bill".
If passed into law, the Heartbeat Bill will ban abortion after the point when a heartbeat can be detected, which occurs around the 6th to 8th week of pregnancy and will become arguably the most influential piece of pro-life legislation ever introduced in the State of Arkansas and possibly the United States. The bill does recognize exceptions for rape, incest, to save the life of the mother or life threatening medical emergencies.
Because of the ground-breaking nature of the Heartbeat Bill, I have unfortunately fallen prey to the growing trend of destructive politics.
Pro-life opponents on the far Left dredged up a video of a speech that I delivered at a Tea Party rally in 2011, and edited my nearly 20-minute talk down to one and a half minutes. They highlighted the following words taken out of context and labeled me a racist-a description with which I would have never ever conceived being tagged.
'I hear you loud and clear, Barack Obama. You don't represent the country that I grew up with. And your values [are] not going to save us. We're going to take this country back for the Lord. We're going to try to take this country back for conservatism. And we're not going to allow minorities to run roughshod over what you people believe in!'
Standing alone, these comments could very well appear to be racist. The term 'minorities' is most often used by Americans in reference to people of ethnic groups other than white. Upon viewing the entire context of my speech, which is broken up into five separate videos on YouTube, it is very evident that by 'minorities', I was referring to the minority of political interests that are not aligned with the views of the majority of the people of Arkansas.
Here are my comments in full context that preceded the aforementioned statement as I referred to President Obama's liberal stances:
'Here in Arkansas we tried to do something about our values on that. We said 'You know what? Where we have foster children, we want them to be in a good home with a mommy and a daddy.' Do ya'll think that's alright? Well, right here the other day a bunch of your Supreme Court Justices just struck it down - said your vote don't count. I am here to tell you that we are a people that's ruled by a majority in this country. And I am tired of minority interests that are running roughshod over you and me.'
Since the deceivingly edited video surfaced, I have been the subject of personal ridicule and the victim of threats against my family and me. National press and media outlets have cast false judgment on my character charging that I have no respect for women and a disdain for non-white American citizens, but more importantly than the false accusations hurled against me, the debate shifted focus from the lives of the unborn to political gamesmanship and nonsense.
Winston Churchill once said: "The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is."
Here's a look at the facts.
The truth of the matter is that my comments at the 2011 rally had nothing to do with anyone's ethnic background.
The truth of the matter is that the personal attacks on my character are not even really about me at all.
The truth of the matter is that the Heartbeat Bill very clearly provides exceptions in the cases of rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother and includes a provision stating that test would not have to be performed if there is a life-threatening medical emergency.
The truth of the matter is that the Heartbeat Bill passed in the Arkansas State Senate with a supermajority of 26 "yeas", 8 "nays", and 1 "absent" and included the votes of 5 Democrats and 3 Republican women.
The truth of the matter is that this unfortunate situation is about the rage of the liberal left because people are standing up for life in Arkansas, and for the first time, substantive legislation might actually be passed to do something about it.
The baseless charge of racism is an act of desperation. A man should be judged by the fruits he bears in his life-not a 90-second video, and the actions of my life clearly show that I am no racist. This includes several partnerships and friendships with pastors and non-profit leaders from various backgrounds both in Arkansas and all over the world. It includes my founding of Holy Ghost Ministries, Inc. (HGM), a faith-based
humanitarian organization providing clean water and assistance to the underprivileged and orphaned citizens of Ghana West Africa, Uganda and the Philippines-all of which are passions I've worked for longed before I became a State Senator.
The dissenters of the Heartbeat Bill have every right to disagree with the contents of it. They have every right to express their disagreement and to even fight against it. That is the beauty of the United States.
However, the problem arises when the dissenters lose all perspective of the actual issue and begin to hurl personal attacks at the supporters and initiators of the Heartbeat Bill. This is where they are wrong. This is where I speak on behalf of all Americans who favor civil discourse and call for the name-calling, threats, and vicious lies to cease.
If my political opponents want to debate me on the issues, I welcome it. If they want to engage in healthy and honest public discourse that is beneficial to Arkansan constituents, I am happy to oblige, but lies and distortions are the exact reason why American public opinion has turned so unfavorably against politics in general. They are tired of it, and so am I.
I believe that life begins at the moment of conception and that we, as leaders, have a moral obligation to protect the lives of children. I will continue to proudly support pro-life legislation in the Arkansas General Assembly and will be vocal in my defense of the unborn as the least among us. When there is a heartbeat, there is life."