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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

Governor asks legislature to reconsider ban on school mask mandates

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks during a community town hall to promote COVID-19 vaccinations at Arkansas State University Mountain Home on July 16, 2021. Photo: Liz Sanders/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Gov. Asa Hutchinson reinstated Arkansas' public health emergency Thursday, and announced he is calling a special session of the legislature to amend the law banning mask mandates to allow more flexibility for schools.

What's happening: COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are out of control in the state. And Act 1002 prohibits school districts from requiring masks when classes start again in a few weeks.

Updated 26 mins ago - Health

Sen. Lindsey Graham tests positive for COVID-19

Lindsey Graham. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said Monday that he has tested positive for COVID-19, despite being vaccinated.

Why it matters: Graham emphasized that the mildness of his symptoms is due to being vaccinated. If he had been unvaccinated his symptoms would be "far worse," he said.

Updated 1 hour ago - World

U.S. consulting with U.K., Romania and Israel on response to alleged Iran attack

Secretary of State Antony Blinken, President Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The British and Romanian governments summoned the Iranian ambassadors to London and Bucharest on Monday to protest last week's drone strike on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman, which both countries have attributed to Iran.

The latest: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a briefing Monday that the U.S. is consulting with the U.K., Romania and Israel to prepare a collective response to the alleged Iranian attack.