Arkansas AG To Ask US Supreme Court To Consider Abortion Law

Sep 23, 2015

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge at a press conference in August.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge says she'll ask the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in on the constitutionality of an Arkansas law banning most abortions 12 weeks into a woman's pregnancy.

A federal judge found the law unconstitutional in 2014 and a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. Rutledge said Wednesday that she'll file the request with the U.S. Supreme Court in the coming weeks.

Arkansas' Legislature passed the law in 2013 that banned abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy if a heartbeat is detected, making it one of the strictest measures in the country. It never took effect after U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright ruled that abortion restrictions must be based on a fetus' ability to survive outside the womb, not a heartbeat.