Federal judge blocks Arkansas law banning abortions after 12 weeks
On Friday, a federal judge granted an injunction against a law that would have banned most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The judge said the law was likely unconstitutional.
Little Rock, Ark.
A federal judge on Friday blocked a new Arkansas law that would ban most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most restrictive abortion statutes in the nation.Skip to next paragraph
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US District Judge Susan Webber Wright granted an injunction sought by abortion rights groups, saying the ban was "more than likely" unconstitutional and ordering that implementation be delayed until a legal challenge to the law can be tried in court.
The law was to have taken effect in August.
"Today's decision ensures that the women of Arkansas will remain protected from this blatant unconstitutional assault on their health and fundamental reproductive rights," Nancy Northup, chief executive of the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.
"Such an extreme ban on abortion would have immediate and devastating consequences for women inArkansas, especially those who could not afford to travel out of state to access reproductive health care," she said.
Northup said the group is confident the law will ultimately be struck down in court.
The Arkansas Human Heartbeat Protection Act would ban most abortions after about 12 weeks of pregnancy, once a fetal heartbeat can be detected by a standard ultrasound. It allows exemptions in cases where the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest, if the life of the mother is in danger, or if major fetal problems are detected.