Federal judge blocks Arkansas law banning most abortions

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FILE – In this Oct. 12, 2012, file photo, Kristine Baker smiles after being sworn in as a U.S. District judge for the Eastern District of Arkansas in Little Rock. On Tuesday, July 20, 2021, Baker blocked an Arkansas law banning nearly all abortions from taking effect during the month, issuing a preliminary injunction preventing the law’s enforcement while she considers a challenge to its constitutionality. (Rick McFarland/The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette via AP, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge has blocked an Arkansas law banning nearly all abortions from taking effect this month.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction preventing the law’s enforcement while she considers a challenge to its constitutionality. The measure passed by the majority-Republican Legislature and signed by GOP Gov. Asa Hutchinson was set to take effect July 28.

The ban allows the procedure to save the life of the mother and does not provide exceptions for those impregnated in an act of rape or incest.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, which had challenged the outright ban, hailed Baker’s decision.

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