Federal judge blocks Arkansas law that would ban almost all abortion


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by Karen Faulkner, Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A federal judge on Tuesday blocked an law that would ban all abortions except when the woman’s life is in danger, the Examiner reports.

Issuing a preliminary injunction to stop the legislation from going into effect from July 28, US District Judge Kristine Baker said the Arkansas law was “categorically unconstitutional” because it would ban abortions before viability. The law allows only for in case of a medical threat to the woman’s life, and not for commonly included situations of rape, incest or fatal fetal abnormality, the Examiner said.

The legislation was passed by the state’s -led Legislature, and Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed it into law in March, the Examiner reports. At the time of signing the law, Hutchinson said: “It is the intent of the legislation to set the stage for the overturning [the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade that made pre-viability abortion legal in the US].”

Hutchinson added that he would have preferred the law to contain exceptions for rape and incest as he believes “such exceptions would increase the chances for a review by the U.S. Supreme Court.” The Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments on a Mississippi abortion law this fall when it will consider whether it is constitutional for states to ban abortion prior to viability.

Meanwhile, in her decision concerning the Arkansas law, Judge Baker wrote: “Since the record at this stage of the proceedings indicates that women seeking abortions in Arkansas face an imminent threat to their constitutional rights, the Court concludes that they will suffer irreparable harm without injunctive relief.”

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