Federal judge blocked on Tuesday Arkansas a law banning nearly all abortion in the state, while she hears objections to its constitutionality.
US District Judge Christine Baker issued a preliminary injunction against the law, which was due to take effect on July 28. The measure was adopted by a majority of votes.Republican Legislative Assembly and signed by the Gov. Asa Hutchinson
The prohibition allows this procedure to save the life of the mother in a medical emergency and does not provide an exemption for pregnant women as a result of rape or incest.
Baker called the law “categorically unconstitutional” as it would have prohibited the procedure before the fetus was found viable.
“Since the transcript of this phase of the trial shows that women seeking an abortion in Arkansas face an imminent threat to their constitutional rights, the Court concludes that without an injunction, irreparable harm will be done to them,” she wrote.
In May, the US Supreme Court agreed to consider whether states could ban abortion before the fetus can survive outside the womb – an autopsy that could fundamentally change nearly 50-year-old rulings on the procedure.
The case, which focuses on Mississippi’s law banning abortion in a woman’s 15th week of pregnancy, is likely to be contested in the fall, with a decision likely to be made in the spring of 2022.
Republican lawmakers in Arkansas and several other states, encouraged by former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointments, introduced new abortion bans even before the case was announced.
The bans were imposed by Republicans who want to force the US Supreme Court to reconsider their 1973 Roe v. Wade’s decision to legalize abortion nationwide.
IN American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, which challenged the outright ban, welcomed Baker’s decision. Groups sue on behalf of Small stone Family Planning Services, Little Rock Abortion Clinic and Little Rock Planned Parenthood Medical Center. The groups also represent a physician who works in a family planning clinic.
“We are delighted that the court has blocked yet another brutal and harmful attempt to criminalize abortion care and intrude on Arkansas’s highly personal medical decisions,” Arkansas ACLU Executive Director Holly Dixon said in a statement.