The New York Times reports that further loss of abortion rights is being used as a campaign tool by Democratic candidates in some populous states. Not Arkansas, obviously, though available polling here is no different than most places — while most have reservations about abortion and favor a variety of restrictions on it, a majority still prefers that it be a legal option for women.

Make no mistake that the Republican candidates heading to Congress from Arkansas want to rip control of women’s bodies from them and end legal abortion availability. Republican congressional candidates here, including Tim Griffin in the 2nd District, this week received endorsements from an anti-abortion group that favors, among others, full constitutional rights of “personhood” for fertilized eggs, which could play havoc some day for, say, programs full of those persons otherwise known as frozen embryos and microscopic matter that might be affected by morning-after pills. The mentally retarded Fort Smith child raped by her father? No public abortion funding for her.

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Given the state of things, I don’t know what’s to lose for Democrats like Joyce Elliott in making clearer what the Republican future holds for women.

UPDATE: Elliott has been spotted, by the way. She’s traveling in Yell County with Dale Bumpers, David Pryor and Vic Snyder, who notes that a lifelong Arkansan (Elliott) faces a newcomer to Central Arkansas who’s spent most of his working life in Washington. And, I’d add, not just in Washington but in the belly of the Rovian dirty politics beast.

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And talk about dirty. Griffin’s latest radio is some slimy stuff. It raises more questions than his dishonest innuendo answers. What part of the state trauma system would he shut down, if he would have opposed a cigarette tax to pay for it? What part of the millions in stimulus money Arkansas has received would he have refused? And you’ll excuse me if I don’t take the word of the Democrat-Gazette editorial page that Griffin’s documented involvement in efforts to suppress the votes of poor black people in Florida is baseless. But I do believe the former U.S. attorney from New Mexico, backed up by sworn testimony and other evidence, who said Griffin slimed a good man, Bud Cummins, so he could get his job. The notion that Tim Griffin, a master of the unsupported smear, is complaining about negative campaigning by Joyce Elliott boggles the mind.