Court lifts block on 4 abortion restrictions in Arkansas
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LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) – A federal appeals court on Friday overturned the ruling of a judge who had blocked the entry into force of four abortion restrictions in Arkansas, including a ban on abortion common procedure in the second trimester and a fetal remains law that opponents say would effectively demand. consent from a partner before a woman can have an abortion.
The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the 2017 preliminary injunction issued against the restrictions. The United States Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights had challenged the measures, filing a lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Frederick Hopkins, a Little Rock abortion provider.
The appeals committee said the case should be reconsidered in light of a recent abortion ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Laws blocked by U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker include banning a procedure known as dilation and evacuation, which abortion rights advocates say is the safest procedure and most common used in second trimester abortions. The state calls it a “barbaric abortion and dismemberment,” saying it can have emotional consequences for the women who undergo it.
Republican Attorney General Leslie Rutledge praised the appeal court’s decision.
“Arkansas has taken a strong stand to protect unborn children from inhumane treatment,” Rutledge said in a statement. “As the legal director of Arkansas, I have always stood up for the lives of unborn children and will continue to defend our state’s legal right to protect unborn children.”
The 2017 decision also blocked new restrictions on the disposal of fetal tissue collected during abortions. Complainants argued that it could also block access by requiring notification to a third party, such as the woman’s parents or her sexual partner, to determine what happens to the fetal remains.
Other restrictions included a ban on abortions based solely on the sex of the fetus and another requiring that doctors performing abortions for patients under the age of 14 take certain measures to preserve embryonic or fetal tissue and notify the police of the location. residence of the minor.
Abortion rights groups have said they are considering options to ensure restrictions remain stuck after August 28, when the appeals court ruling takes effect.
“This decision is a reminder that the fight against these extreme abortion restrictions is far from won,” said Holly Dickson, interim executive director and legal director of the ACLU of Arkansas, in a statement. “We are evaluating our next steps and will continue to fight to ensure that these harmful and unconstitutional laws do not take effect.”
The United States Supreme Court ruling cited by the appeals court committee struck down a Louisiana law regulating abortion clinics. The appeals court said Baker needed to consider a concurring opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts that state legislatures had broad discretion.
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