A federal judge temporarily blocked three Arkansas anti-abortion laws just 15 minutes before they took effect.
The legislation, which would ban abortion 18 weeks or later, was expected to take effect Wednesday at 12:01 a.m. But late Tuesday night, U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker placed a 159-page temporary restraining order on the bill. The order will last two weeks, expiring Aug. 6 at 11:45 p.m. local time.
In addition to banning abortion at 18 weeks, the laws would have also “required physicians providing abortions to be board-certified or board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology,” and would have “prohibited abortions sought because of fetal diagnoses of Down syndrome,” reported Jennifer Calfas at the Wall Street Journal.
Judge Baker said the laws “cause ongoing and imminent irreparable harm to the plaintiffs and their patients” at this time in the proceedings. But it is not just the timing: Judge Baker has always favored the increase of access to abortion.
In July 2017, Judge Baker “blocked four Arkansas laws regarding abortion access,” reported Calfas. “One of which prohibited a common procedure used in the second trimester.”
H/T: Wall St Journal