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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.

33 mins ago - World

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai detained on fraud charge

An activist holds a placard highlighting China's Tiananmen Square massacre as pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai arrives at West Kowloon Magistrates' Court in Hong Kong in November. Photo: Isaac Wong/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai is being detained until an April court hearing after the pro-democracy supporter was charged Thursday with fraud, per his Apple Daily news outlet.

Why it matters: His arrest and denial of bail is another blow for the pro-democracy movement in the former British colony amid concerns about a fresh crackdown on activists.

4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Inhofe loudly sets Trump straight on defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe speaks with reporters in the Capitol last month. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senator Jim Inhofe told President Trump today he'll likely fail to get two big wishes in pending defense spending legislation, bellowing into his cellphone: "This is the only chance to get our bill passed," a source who overheard part of their conversation tells Axios.

Why it matters: Republicans are ready to test whether Trump's threats of vetoing the bill, which has passed every year for more than half a century, are empty.

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