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Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson at a June state Senate hearing at the state Capitol. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction to stop an Arkansas law banning nearly all abortions in the state following a lawsuit disputing its constitutionality, per AP.

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.

Go deeper

NAACP calls on pro athletes to not sign with Texas teams

American flag at Houston Astros' stadium. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NAACP on Thursday called on professional athletes to not sign contracts in Texas because of recent voting, redistricting and abortion laws passed in the state.

What they're saying: "From abortion to voting rights and mask mandates, Texas has become a blueprint by legislators to violate constitutional rights for all, especially for women, children and marginalized communities," the letter reads.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 10 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.