Judge blocks Arkansas' near-total abortion ban
The big picture: The law that Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed in March would have banned nearly all abortions in Arkansas — with no exceptions for rape or incest, only for if a pregnant person's life is in danger.
- But U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker's order stops it from coming into effect as scheduled on July 28 while she hears the case.
Details: Baker said in her ruling that the law was "categorically unconstitutional" as it would ban abortions when the fetus is not considered viable, according to AP.
- "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," she wrote.
What they're saying: "We're relieved that the court has blocked another cruel and harmful attempt to criminalize abortion care and intrude on Arkansans’ deeply personal medical decisions," said Holly Dickson, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas, which filed the suit with Planned Parenthood.
What to watch: The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to a Mississippi law that bans nearly all abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with further context and comment from Baker and Dickson.