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Federal judge blocks Arkansas law banning abortions after 12 weeks

On Friday, a federal judge granted an injunction against a law that would have banned most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy. The judge said the law was likely unconstitutional.

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Rita Sklar, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, speaks during a news conference at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., April 16. Abortion rights proponents filed a federal lawsuit which Friday, lead to a judge blocking Arkansas' new abortion law, which is among the most restrictive in the nation.

James MacPherson/AP/File

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A federal judge on Friday blocked a new Arkansas law that would ban most abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy, one of the most restrictive abortion statutes in the nation.

US District Judge Susan Webber Wright granted an injunction sought by abortion rights groups, saying the ban was "more than likely" unconstitutional and ordering that implementation be delayed until a legal challenge to the law can be tried in court.

The law was to have taken effect in August.

The Center for Reproductive Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit against the state medical board in April on behalf of two Arkansas doctors who perform abortions.

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