Arkansas’s Sole Abortion Clinic Receives a Stay of Closure

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On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that three Arkansas abortion laws cannot be enforced because they would likely ensure the closure of the states only surgical abortion clinic.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker said the 14-day temporary restraining order would allow for more time to consider a lawsuit filed by Little Rock Family Planning Services and Planned Parenthood.

“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,” Baker wrote in a 186-page ruling.

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The laws at issue include a prohibition on abortions for women who are 18 weeks pregnant or seek abortion because the fetus has been diagnosed with Down syndrome. Another law would require doctors performing abortions to be board-certified or board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology.

In a statement, Little Rock Family Planning said that only one of their physicians meets the new surgical requirements set forth by the law, which was signed into effect by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson in March. Under current law, a state-licensed physician can legally perform abortions, but proponents of tighter restrictions out of concern for the patient.

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