A federal judge just temporarily blocked Arkansas’ extreme abortion ban which is a huge win for rights advocates.
Arkansas is one of several states that have passed abortion restrictions challenging the constitutional right to the procedure established in Roe v. Wade. Judges have temporarily blocked laws restricting abortions in states including Ohio, Arkansas and Texas, writes The New York Times.
According to Common Dreams, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, ruled on Tuesday that the law signed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson is “categorically unconstitutional” and would cause “imminent irreparable harm” to patients and doctors in Arkansas.
“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,” writes Baker.
The law was set to go into effect on July 28. It would have banned all abortions in all cases (including rape and incest) except to save the life of pregnant women in a medical emergency. Any doctor who failed to comply with this law would have been punished with up to 10 years in prison or could have been liable for a $100,000 fine.
This law “is categorically unconstitutional, and plaintiffs have demonstrated that they are likely to succeed on the merits,” writes Baker.
Republican-led state legislatures say otherwise as several other states have also passed abortion restrictions in hopes the newly reshaped Supreme Court will make a final decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“This legislation had the dual purpose of protecting Arkansas’s unborn and challenging longstanding Supreme Court precedent regarding abortion. I hope the Supreme Court will ultimately accept this case for review, says Gov. Asa Hutchinson who had signed the law back in March.