BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A resolution to make Benton County a “Pro-life county goes before the full quorum court Thursday night.
Justice of the Peace, and Co-sponsor, Joseph Bollinger says it’s a declaration of the community’s shared beliefs.
Now, it’s important to note that the declaration has no legal authority.
The policy says the county would promote and protect the dignity and humanity of all persons at all stages of life from conception until natural death.
“Whether it’s the elderly, the poor, the unborn, it’s everybody, it’s all-encompassing. All life in that regard has value, has dignity and we want to make sure it is proclaimed in Benton county,” said Bollinger.
However, not everyone agrees with the county taking this stance.
“This resolution doesn’t do anything but state personal opinion, values and really use it to shame our community. My ask would be that the quorum leads with compassion and empathy towards those who may think differently than they do,” said Daisy Bonilla, a Licensed Social Worker and a member of the Democratic Party of Benton County.
She believes the resolution is divisive and vilifies an individual’s choice. She adds it makes it more difficult for someone already in a tough position to access care.
If it passes Bollinger wants to see it expand to individual cities. Bollinger says the county is already pro-life in regards to its values and this would make it official.
The proclamation would urge cities within the county to join in its expression of being pro-life.
“We would like to move to speak to municipalities about passing similar legislation and basically have a unified message in Benton county… and the municipalities in Benton county saying that we value the sanctity of life in Benton county,” said Bollinger.
Bonilla says there are more pressing issues the county should be focused on.
“Let’s spend time focusing on the CARES Act money that we need to share with our community and make sure we are getting people vaccinated, getting people the resources who may be lacking on rent,” said Bonilla.
Bollinger says the county is doing those things. He says the county continues to host vaccination clinics and notes its community outreach efforts in marginalized communities during the pandemic. He adds these are the issues they support as a pro-life county.
Again the resolution will go in front of the full quorum court Thursday night for final approval.