Politics

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks 18-Week Abortion Ban In Arkansas

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Mary Margaret Olohan Social Issues Reporter

A federal judge temporarily blocked the implementation of an Arkansas abortion bill Tuesday that would have prevented abortions after 18 weeks.

District Judge Kristine Baker of the Eastern District of Arkansas stopped the bill from going into effect, claiming it would cause “irreparable” harm to women who were seeking abortions.

Republican Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the measure in March, according to CNN.

The ruling also blocks a law that would have prevented abortions targeting babies with Down syndrome, and yet another law requiring abortion providers to be certified in obstetrics and gynecology, according to CNN. (RELATED: ACLU Told CA Teachers To Help Students Obtain Abortions Without Parental Notification, Video Reveals)

Both Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union filed a June lawsuit against Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Arkansas officials, saying that all three of the intended abortion measures were unconstitutional. Neither the ACLU nor Planned Parenthood responded to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Abortion-rights campaigners attend a rally against new restrictions on abortion passed by legislatures in eight states including Alabama and Georgia, in New York City, U.S., May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon - RC15D02537C0

Abortion-rights campaigners attend a rally against new restrictions on abortion passed by legislatures in eight states including Alabama and Georgia, in New York City, U.S., May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Jeenah Moon – RC15D02537C0

Baker wrote in the ruling that the measures would have caused “ongoing and imminent irreparable harm to the plaintiffs and their patients,” and that “the harms to women who are unable to obtain abortion care as a result of (the acts) are irreparable.”

Rutledge’s communications director told the DCNF that the Attorney General immediately filed an appeal to the Eight Circuit following the court ruling.

“She continues to defend Arkansas law protecting women’s health by requiring a board certified or eligible OBGYN to perform an abortion, as well as Arkansas laws that (protect) unborn life by prohibiting abortions after 18 weeks and at any time if based on a Down Syndrome diagnosis,” said Amanda Priest, Rutledge’s communications director.

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