Extremist, anti-woman politicians are at it again in Arkansas. And, once again, they have the support of Walmart billionaire Jim Walton and, in this case, of Walmart itself.
Last week, the Arkansas State Senate passed bill Senate Bill 818. The bill, aimed at prohibiting all state funds to organizations that provide abortions or refer women to abortion providers, would have the effect of defunding Planned Parenthood and effectively ending a sexual education program currently run in the state’s public high schools.
The bill was sponsored by Rep. Gary Stubblefield, a state legislator from Branch, Arkansas. Rep. Stubblefield has received multiple campaign contributions from Jim Walton and from Walmart directly.
Rapert attracted national attention by pushing radical anti-choice legislation through the Arkansas State Senate. Rapert’s bill could effectively outlaw abortions after six weeks and force women seeking to terminate a pregnancy to submit to a vaginal probe. Rapert proudly declares himself a birther and attacks the state Supreme Court for knocking down a ban on gay adoptions (which Walton also supported).
Meanwhile, Mauch is an Arkansas state legislator who has called the Confederate flag a “symbol of Jesus Christ” and acknowledged membership in the “neo-confederate” secessionist group known as League of the South. In letters written to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (D-G) over the years, and recently posted online by Max Brantley at the Arkansas Blog, Mauch called Abraham Lincoln a war criminal on a par with the Nazis, and also suggested that slavery couldn’t have been so bad because it was not condemned in the Bible. On his campaign’s Facebook page, Mauch calls President Obama a “radical Muslim.” Eventually, under public pressure, Jim Walton wrote Mauch and asked that his contribution be returned.
Walmart and the Walton family often use pro-women rhetoric. Now, both Walton and Walmart are caught funding yet another attack on women’s rights and on basic common sense. It’s time for Jim Walton and Walmart to ask for their money back from Stubblefield and, more importantly, to publicly commit to stop funding extremist politicians who are apparently determined to undermine our rights.