Judge blocks Arkansas abortion regulations

A federal judge in Arkansas on Tuesday temporarily blocked several new regulations on abortion clinics, which otherwise might have led to the closure of the state’s last abortion clinic.

District Court Judge Kristine Baker of the Eastern District of Arkansas issued a 14-day injunction July 23 concluding that the laws “cause ongoing and imminent irreparable harm” to patients.

The court’s ruling will allow Little Rock Family Planning Services, the abortion clinic in question, to remain open to provide medical abortions up to 10 weeks, NPR reports.

At issue are a number of abortion regulations in Arkansas, one of which is a ban on abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy, which passed in March. Another is a law that bans abortions based solely on a Down syndrome diagnosis. The new regulations were set to go into effect July 24.

The injunction blocks the laws’ enforcement while legal challenges play out in court.

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