Legal Maneuvering Continues Over Arkansas Abortion Ban

Jul 23, 2013

The Washington Post reports that Arkansas is one of 10 states where important legal fights are being waged over abortion rights. 

Last week, Attorneys for two Little Rock abortion providers asked a federal judge to strike down a new Arkansas law that bans most abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright had already issued a permanent injunction back in May that prevented the law from taking effect in July.

Bettina Brownstein is a cooperating attorney with the ACLU of Arkansas, the plaintiffs in this case.

“In our opinion, and I think it is the correct one, in reading the Arkansas law and the case if you look at the act as a whole it’s clear that the abdominal ultrasound was to be used to date or get the age of the fetus so that if it was determined to be 12-weeks old then you can’t have an abortion,” Brownstein said.

However, the defendants claim that the abdominal ultrasound will be used to aid the woman and give her additional information about the fetus that she can use to make a sound decision before determining whether to terminate a pregnancy.

Brownstein says both parties will file more documents with the court over the next few weeks and then the judge could have a final ruling in the coming months. 

The Republican-led state legislature enacted the 12-week abortion ban in March when it overrode a veto from Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.