EDITORIAL/Lawmakers or Voters? Who should decide legal access to abortion?

Amendment 68 to the Arkansas State Constitution, approved in 1988, says "The policy of Arkansas is to protect the life of every unborn child from conception until birth, to the extent permitted by the Federal Constitution."

Republican pro-life lawmakers have taken that wording to heart, especially since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion, passing some of the toughest anti-abortion laws in the country.

But does that really reflect the will of the people of Arkansas?

A group called Arkansans for Limited Government doesn't think so and wants to put a ballot initiative before voters in 2024 that would keep state government from interfering in reproductive health care decisions -- including abortion -- up to 18 weeks after conception. It would also allow abortion in cases or rape, incest, fatal fetal anomaly or to protect the mother's health.

But the group faced it's first hurdle when it submitted the initiative's ballot title and text to the state attorney general's office for approval. AG Tim Griffin rejected both, finding them ambiguous and unclear.

Should the group come up with wording that passes AG muster, there is still the daunting task of gathering more than 90,000 voters signatures from at least 50 different counties before July 25, 2024. So this is no done deal.

But it raises the question: Should access to legal abortion in the post-Roe era be decided by elected lawmakers or directly the state's voters?

We want to know what you think. Should voters have the opportunity to allow or ban legal abortion in Arkansas? OR should that be left to elected representative?

Send your response (50 words maximum) to [email protected] by Wednesday, December 6. You can also mail your response to the Texarkana Gazette Friday Poll, at P.O. Box 621, Texarkana, TX 75504 or drop it off at our office, 101 E. Broad St, Texarkana, Ark. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. We will print as many responses as we can in next Friday's paper.

Last Week: Self-Checkout: Love it or Loathe It?

Last week's question was about self-checkout at retail and grocery stores. Do you like or dislike self-checkout? If a store offers both, which would you choose?

I loathe self-checkout! I will do it if I have only 2-3 items. However, I am not self-checking a whole buggy of groceries. I have quit going inside Walmart for that very reason. I go to Albertsons or make a Walmart pickup order for items I don't want to select myself. -- K.C., Texarkana, Arkansas

Love self checkout, however stores need to limit items to 10 items or less. This was supposed to be a fast way to get in and get out of stores. I have seen people with full carts going through self checkout, which is ridiculous. Please stores limit the checkout items. -- R.K., Texarkana, Texas

From facebook.com/texarkanagazette

- The less people I have to make small talk with the better. I can pack my own bags the way I like. It's just an introverts dream come true. 

- I don't work there. Prices are so inflated , I don't feel like paying for them to hire less employees also.

- I like being able to bag my own stuff in my reusable bags and not having to interact with people as much.

- Love!

- Absolutely love them ! I would rather scan my stuff myself and get out without having to wait in line behind people that want to talk to the cashier about their entire lives, or hyper couponers . I also package my things the way I want to so my stuff gets home the way I put it in the buggy .

- When I do shop in the store, I will use self checkout. Mainly because I like to have my groceries bagged a certain way. Using curbside pickup means some things may not be bagged to my preference, but it is still worth the convenience of not having to go in the store.

- They are ok for just a few items only,and that is what they were for to begin with.I hate them now.

- Love it!!!!

- I hate it and hate to see so many that now loving it and giving in to greed.

- I'm fine with it if I've just got a couple of things. If my buggy is full, though, I'm looking for a cashier.

- Will not use anything else. Either self checkout or have someone shop my items and deliver them to my front door.

- I like it because I can take my time and bag my stuff my way

- I'm the Customer! Not a Employee of the Store! Customer Service Cashiers should be a Must in every Store!

- Nope don't like them I'm the customer not the employee

- Hate it!

- Love it

- I will only use self checkout for a few things.

- I like it

- Don't like it!!!

- Do not like it

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