US federal judge blocks Arkansas state-wide ban on abortions
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US federal judge blocks Arkansas state-wide ban on abortions

US District Judge Kristine Baker on Tuesday issued a preliminary injunction against SB6, or Act 309, an Arkansas law that would ban all abortions.  

Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson signed SB6 after it was passed March of this year by the majority-Republican Legislature. The bill was sponsored by Senator Jason Rapert from District 35 of Central Arkansas. Act 309 outlaws any medical providers from carrying out abortion procedures unless the situation was a medical emergency. This means that it will provide no exceptions to abortions to fetuses as a result of rape, incest or fetal medical anomalies. Any offenders could face up to 10 years in prison time or $100,000 dollars in fines. 

Judge Baker argued that Act 309 is “categorically unconstitutional.” She stated that the women in Arkansas will “face an imminent threat to their constitutional rights” and justified her injunction on the basis that they will “suffer irreparable harm.” Governor Hutchison who signed the law stated his main impetus is to directly challenge Roe v Wade. He is expected to appeal the constitutionality of this law to the Supreme Court.

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to listen to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a Mississippi case on “[w]hether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional”. This case can potentially overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, two Supreme Court cases which has served as the bastion of female productive rights in America for more than 50 years.

ACLU’s Arkansas executive director Holy Dickson stated: “We’re relieved that the court has blocked another cruel and harmful attempt to criminalize abortion care and intrude on Arkansans’ deeply personal medical decisions.”

The ACLU, ACLU of Arkansas, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America filed a lawsuit in May, challenging Act 309.