May 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

ACLU, Planned Parenthood file lawsuit over Arkansas' near-total abortion ban

Photo of Asa Hutchinson speaking into a mic

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Abortion rights groups on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Arkansas' near-total ban on abortion.

Why it matters: The ban is part of conservatives' campaign to force the Supreme Court to revisit Roe v. Wade. Arkansas is one of 14 states where legislators introduced near-total abortion bans this year, according to AP.

  • The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

The state of play: The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood are asking a federal judge to strike down the law, which is set to take effect July 28.

  • The new law bars all abortions except those necessary for protecting the pregnant person's life.

What they're saying: "Absent an order from this Court, plaintiffs will be forced to turn away patients seeking abortion care as of that date," the lawsuit states, per AP.

  • "This will inflict immediate and irreparable harm upon plaintiffs’ patients by blatantly violating their constitutional rights under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, threatening their health and well-being, and forcing them to continue their pregnancies against their will."

Worth noting: Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) expressed concerns about the legislation's lack of exceptions for rape and incest, but said he signed it because of "overwhelming legislative support" and his "sincere and long-held pro-life convictions."

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