A federal judge Friday temporarily blocked a first-of-its-kind Arkansas law that would effectively have prevented most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright granted the motion for preliminary injunction in a lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Arkansas and the Center for Reproductive Rights on behalf of two Little Rock abortion providers.
The ruling prevents the law from going into effect in August. The lawsuit on the lawâ€™s constitutionality will proceed on the merits.
The law was defended by Arkansas Deputy Attorney General Colin Jorgensen, who argued that the 2003 Supreme Court decision that upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act showed that state regulations of abortions can be constitutional.
However, ACLU attorney Bettina Brownstein said U.S. Supreme Court rulings, including the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, say that states cannot block abortions of â€œnon-viable fetuses,â€ or those that cannot live outside the womb.
Arkansasâ€™ new abortion law permits abortions in some circumstances, but â€œit is still a ban,â€ the judge ruled. â€ â€¦ A plain reading of the act itself shows that.â€
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