An Arkansas Anti-Abortion Group Is Doxing Ballot Measure Organizers

Across the country, anti-abortion groups' tactics to try to stop widely popular abortion rights ballot measures are getting entirely out of hand.

An Arkansas Anti-Abortion Group Is Doxing Ballot Measure Organizers

Arkansas, where abortion is almost totally banned, is one of over a dozen states that are trying to get abortion rights-related measures on the ballot this November—and as we’re seeing in nearly every state, anti-abortion groups are throwing the kitchen sink at the wall to try to stop this. On Thursday, the anti-abortion group Arkansas Family Council published a list of the names and hometowns of 79 abortion rights organizers who are employed by Arkansans for Limited Government and who are collecting signatures for the proposed measure, which would protect a right to abortion up to 18 weeks, with medical and other exceptions beyond that point.

“The list obtained via FOIA indicates Arkansans for Limited Government currently has 79 paid canvassers—most of whom appear to be concentrated in central and northwest Arkansas,” the far-right group says in a post that includes the list. The post goes on to shamelessly lie that the ballot measure “would permit abortion through all nine months of pregnancy in many cases,” and that it “also would pave the way for publicly funded abortion in Arkansas“—if only!

This comes after the same group published a list of the names and cities of 15 canvassers working for Arkansans for Limited Government on May 24. At the top of these posts, the Arkansas Family Council raises that it legally obtained this information via the FOIA Act. But there’s very clearly no reason to share these personal details other than to intimidate abortion rights organizers and expose them to harassment, threats, or much worse, given the extensive, unsettling history of physical violence perpetrated by the anti-abortion movement.

“The canvassers working tirelessly to collect petitions in support of the Arkansas Abortion Amendment are proud of the work they are doing to promote reproductive liberty in the state and to engage in direct democracy—they aren’t hiding,” a spokesperson for Arkansans for Liberty told Jezebel. “But when the Family Council releases lists of their names and whereabouts to their network of anti-choice protestors who vehemently, and sometimes violently, disagree with our work, it puts our team at great risk for harassment, stalking, and other dangers. Their tactics are ugly, transparently menacing, and unworthy of Arkansas. We won’t be intimidated.”

Ultimately, the Arkansas Family Council is trying to stop abortion rights organizers from collecting the 91,000 signatures by the state’s July 5 deadline to qualify for the ballot. According to Arkansans for Limited Government, as of Friday, they’re about “three-quarters” of the way through collecting signatures.

In Arkansas, abortion is banned unless to save the pregnant person’s life, and doctors who violate the law face the threat of up to 10 years in prison. This week, the state’s health department reported that there were zero abortions in the state in 2023; as anti-abortion groups celebrate this statistic—which probably conceals how many people were cruelly forced to travel out-of-state for care—one Arkansas woman this week shared her story of being forced by the state to carry her “slowly dying” fetus.

In other states, anti-abortion groups’ tactics to try to stop abortion rights measures from getting on the ballot have been wide-ranging and alarming. In Florida, Missouri, and pretty much every state that’s trying to get a measure on the ballot, anti-abortion politicians are lying that abortion rights ballot measures would create a right to abortion “until birth,” which is entirely false. In March, Arizona anti-abortion organizers boasted to Politico about how their volunteers were stalking, harassing, and video-taping abortion rights organizers as they tried to gather signatures. Per Politico, these anti-abortion volunteers were “tracking the locations of signature-gatherers on a private Telegram channel, filming them, interrupting their work, and calling security to get them removed from high-traffic spots around town.” Last month, per the office of South Dakota’s Republican secretary of state, members of an anti-abortion group in South Dakota were calling voters who signed in support of an abortion rights ballot measure, posing as government officials and trying to pressure them to revoke their signatures. Also in May, anti-abortion groups in Missouri sent texts to voters lying that signature collectors were trying to steal their personal data.

Nonetheless, in all three of these states, abortion rights organizers were able to submit well over the required number of signatures for their proposals to qualify for the ballot. November is a ways away but, despite anti-abortion groups’ best efforts, voters clearly support abortion rights. Which is why the Arkansas Family Council feels the need to dox abortion rights canvassers—their anti-abortion views are wildly unpopular, so all they have left in their arsenal are lies and intimidation.

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