Protest at Arkansas Capitol
4:14 pm
Sat March 23, 2013

Slideshow: "War on Women" Protest at Arkansas Capitol

At a protest at the state capitol Saturday, many Arkansans spoke out against what they call the passing of extreme reproductive laws in Arkansas.

Hundreds of people gathered outside the capitol, advocating for reproductive rights and asking lawmakers to stop what they call "the war on women."

Spoken word poets, ministers, public figures, and Arkansas citizens gathered at the capitol to protest various state laws that they argue increase restrictions on women’s decision-making when it comes to their own bodies.

The ACLU is filing a federal lawsuit against the state of Arkansas to challenge the new law that mandates a 12-week limit on abortions.

Executive Director Rita Sklar voiced her concern with the latest decision.

"To the lawmakers of Arkansas, enough is enough. We are here today to make sure our lawmakers get the message loud and clear that we don’t want government interference in our personal, sexual, reproductive, or religious lives."

The microphone was opened up to the public numerous times, for insights and opinions on the issues at hand.

After megaphones were passed around and several chants were started, State Senator Joyce Elliott was welcomed to the podium.

"It is a supreme privilege to get to serve in that building and help to make laws. But I do find myself supremely, I can’t even tell you how supremely, insulted that we pass laws that set the state on a path of culture of control. This culture of control of women’s bodies is an obsession with some of the folks that serve here."

A bill advocating for the defunding of Planned Parenthood is waiting to be referred back to Senate Committee.

It remains to be seen how legislators will react to the protest.