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Arkansas Republican Gubernatorial candidate Sarah Sanders talks to reporters in Little Rock, Ark. on Feb. 22, 2022 after filing paperwork to run for governor. (AP) Arkansas Republican Gubernatorial candidate Sarah Sanders talks to reporters in Little Rock, Ark. on Feb. 22, 2022 after filing paperwork to run for governor. (AP)

Arkansas Republican Gubernatorial candidate Sarah Sanders talks to reporters in Little Rock, Ark. on Feb. 22, 2022 after filing paperwork to run for governor. (AP)

Samantha Putterman
By Samantha Putterman June 28, 2022

If Your Time is short

  • During a primary victory speech, Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders vowed to make sure kids will be as safe “in the womb as they are in a classroom.

  • She made the statement on May 24, hours after 19 children and two teachers were shot dead by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. But it generated increased criticism after the Supreme Court ruled June 24 to overturn federal abortion law and a clip of Sanders’ speech went viral. 

  • The video showing Sanders’ comment is legitimate, but the clip being passed around on social media is shortened and doesn’t show her references to Uvalde and school safety.

Hours after 19 children and two teachers were shot dead at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, Arkansas gubernatorial candidate Sarah Huckabee Sanders gave a primary victory speech and vowed to make sure kids will be as safe in the womb as they are in a classroom.

The comment was made on May 24, but gained traction on social media following the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. People called Sanders tone deaf about the safety of schools in America.

Sanders, who served as White House press secretary under former President Donald Trump, is facing Democratic candidate Chris Jones in the general election in November. If elected, she would be the first woman to become Arkansas governor. She has campaigned on a platform that includes anti-abortion and anti-gun control stances.

We reached out to Sanders’ campaign for comment but did not hear back.

While the statement is real, the clip of Sanders being passed around online is shortened and doesn’t show her full address. Just before talking about abortion, Sanders referenced Uvalde and school safety (starting around the 4:30-minute mark):

 

"I want to make sure that our kids, when they go into those school doors, are safe. Today and the events that took place in Texas are a stark and humbling reminder of just how precious life is and what an incredible gift that each of us has been given by our creator to stand here today. 

"Every single life has value and the most vulnerable among us should be those that we are fighting for and protecting the most, and I can assure you in my administration that is exactly what we will do.

"We will make sure that when a kid is in the womb they are as safe as they are in a classroom, the workplace, a nursing home. Because every stage of life has value. No one greater than the other. That’s frankly what sets us apart. Because we are a culture that values and protects life. And we’ll do everything we can to make sure it thrives and grows and lives successfully. We can and must do better by the children in this state and in this country."

 

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In Context: What Sarah Huckabee Sanders said about abortions and classroom safety