Judge temporarily blocks new Arkansas anti-abortion laws

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) – A federal judge has blocked three new abortion restrictions from taking effect in Arkansas, including a measure that opponents say would likely force the state’s only surgical abortion clinic to close.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker granted a 14-day temporary restraining order shortly before midnight Tuesday. The 159-page order blocks the state from enforcing the new laws, including a measure prohibiting the procedure 18 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. They also included a requirement that doctors performing abortions be board-certified or board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology. An official with a Little Rock clinic that performs surgical abortions says it has one physician who meets that requirement, but he only works there a few days every other month.

Baker also blocked a law prohibiting doctors from performing an abortion if it’s being sought because the fetus was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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