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Arkansas State Capitol building. Photo: Don & Melinda Crawford/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Wednesday that Arkansas is allowed to ban most surgical abortions during the coronavirus pandemic, AP reports.

The big picture: Other red states have sought to block abortion clinics from operating during the coronavirus pandemic and have found their bans being challenged in court.

  • In Texas, a federal appeals court ruled that clinics can administer medication abortions as the state continues to try to ban abortions during the pandemic.
  • In Tennessee, a federal judge ruled the state must continue allowing abortions.

Arkansas' only surgical abortion clinic is allowed to carry out the procedure if it protects the life or health of the mother.

What they're saying: The appeal court stated in its ruling that the Arkansas Health Department’s “directive is a legally valid response to the circumstances confronted by the Governor and state health officials.”

Go deeper

Jul 30, 2020 - Health

Ruth Bader Ginsburg recovering after non-surgical procedure

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Photo: Shannon Finney/Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is resting in a New York City hospital Wednesday evening following a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure to replace a bile duct stent, the Supreme Court announced in a release.

Why it matters: Ginsburg has had health complications in recent years, including reoccurring liver cancer. This is her second hospital trip this month. The first hospitalization followed a possible infection.

Democrats' hypocrisy moment

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo should be facing explicit calls to resign from President Biden on down, if you apply the standard that Democrats set for similar allegations against Republicans. And it's not a close call.

Why it matters: The #MeToo moment saw men in power run out of town for exploiting young women. Democrats led the charge. So the silence of so many of them seems more strange — and unacceptable by their own standards — by the hour.

Police officers' immunity from lawsuits is getting a fresh look

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Nearly a year after the death of George Floyd, advocates of changes in police practices are launching new moves to limit or eliminate legal liability protections for officers accused of excessive force.

Why it matters: Revising or eliminating qualified immunity — the shield police officers have now — could force officers accused of excessive force to personally face civil penalties in addition to their departments. But such a change could intensify a nationwide police officer shortage, critics say. 

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