Lawsuit Challenging Abortions at 18 Weeks Filed

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday and are asking a judge to block the restrictions before they take effect July 24.

Abortion rights supporters are challenging three new Arkansas restrictions on the procedure, including one that bans abortions 18 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. Arkansas currently bans abortion 20 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy. The restrictions challenged are among several approved by the majority-Republican Legislature this year.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a Little Rock abortion clinic, Planned Parenthood Great Plains and two physicians. The other laws being challenged include one prohibiting doctors from performing an abortion because the fetus was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Another requires doctors who perform abortions to be board-certified or board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology.