Appeals court upholds hold on Arkansas abortion laws


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal appeals court has kept on hold two Arkansas abortion restrictions. One bans abortions 18 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy.

The other bans the procedure from being performed because the fetus has Down syndrome.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a judge’s 2019 ruling temporarily blocking Arkansas from enforcing the laws.

A judge in 2019 said the two measures unconstitutionally restrict abortion before the point of viability.

More restrictions are expected to be proposed during the Arkansas legislative session that starts in less than a week.

Statement from Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas:

“This ruling is a victory for all Arkansans and a decisive repudiation of Arkansas politicians’ ongoing crusade to deny people the right to make their own medical decisions and force them to continue pregnancies against their will,” said Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas. “While today’s ruling is critical, the broader fight to ensure that people have decided to have an abortion can actually get one is far from over. We will continue to defend the right of every Arkansan to make their own decisions about their lives and their health — free from political interference or punishment.”

Statement from Attorney General Leslie Rutledge:

“Following the 8th Circuit’s decision against Arkansas’s late-term abortion ban and Down-syndrome-selection ban, I plan to seek further review of this decision in order to uphold Arkansas’s laws which protect the lives of the unborn and the health of the mothers. The Supreme Court must limit and ultimately overturn Casey and I plan to do everything in my power to see that they do.”

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