LITTLE ROCK — A group pushing for an amendment to the state constitution that would ban abortion in Arkansas says it has submitted proposed ballot language to the state attorney general.

LITTLE ROCK — A group pushing for an amendment to the state constitution that would ban abortion in Arkansas says it has submitted proposed ballot language to the state attorney general.

If Attorney General Dustin McDaniel approves the language, the group Personhood Arkansas would have until July 6 to collect 78,133 signatures to place the measure on the November 2012 ballot.

The proposed amendment states, “No innocent person shall be denied the right to life. With respect to the right to life, the word ‘person’ shall apply to all human beings, including the unborn, at every stage of their development.”

It adds that it shall have no effect on “contraceptives or other methods of birth control that do not cause the death of a person, ” on “in vitro fertilization or other methods of assisted reproduction that do not cause the death of a person,” or on “medical treatment for life-threatening physical conditions intended to preserve life.”

Personhood Arkansas submitted its proposed amendment to McDaniel’s office on Friday, the group’s president, Preston Dunn Jr. of Blytheville, said Monday. Ballot initiatives’ popular name and ballot title must receive certification from McDaniel’s office before canvassing can begin.

Voters have rejected similar measures in Colorado and Mississippi. Dunn, an electrician at a steel mill, said there was confusion in those states over whether contraception, in vitro fertilization and fertility treatments would be affected, but he said his group’s proposal seeks to avoid that confusion by explicitly stating that those practices would not be affected.

“And it’s nothing that would prevent any future medical developments,” he said. “We welcome medical developments that will do better in preserving life going forward.”

Dunn acknowledged that compromises were made to make the language acceptable to voters.

“We’re trying to be realistic about this at the same time as accomplishing out goal, and that is to stop this carnage that is abortion in Arkansas,” he said.

Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the proposed amendment contains no exceptions for rape, incest or cases in which the mother’s health is threatened but her life is not in danger. She also said the amendment would ban some forms of contraception, despite Dunn’s assurances.

“It says it does not apply to contraception as long as a living person isn’t involved. Well, are we counting a fertilized egg? If we are, then we’re talking about IUDs and (several) kinds of birth control pills,” she said.

Sklar said she believes Arkansas voters would reject the measure.

“If we can defeat it in Mississippi, we’ll defeat it in Arkansas,” she said. “Because people realize it’s not a matter of even your position on reproductive choice. It’s a question of women’s health.”

The Colorado-based national organization Personhood USA helped with the language of the proposal and has offered to help collect signatures, Dunn said. The national group has done research to pinpoint the problems voters had with the failed proposals, he said.

Dunn said Personhood Arkansas expects to use an all-volunteer force to collect signatures for the proposed amendment if McDaniel approves the language. He said the group has a state director in Stuttgart, district directors in the 3rd and 4th congressional districts, and is looking for directors for the 1st and 2nd districts.

The group also hopes to get help from churches across the state in gathering signatures, he said.

Arkansas Right to Life has said it would not participate in the drive.