Arkansas Seeking Rehearing In 12-Week Abortion Ban Case

Jun 11, 2015

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge speaking at a campaign rally last October before winning the November election.
Credit Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas Attorney General's Office is seeking a rehearing before the U.S. appeals court that agreed last month with a lower court that a state law unconstitutionally burdens women by banning abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy if a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed a 19-page petition Wednesday seeking a rehearing before the entire 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court sided May 27 with doctors who challenged the law, ruling that abortion restrictions must be based on a fetus' ability to live outside the womb, not the presence of a fetal heartbeat that can be detected weeks earlier.

Rita Sklar of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas said the petition for rehearing is "more waste of Arkansas taxpayer money."