Federal appeals court rules against abortion limits

Thursday, January 7, 2021
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

gavel with stethoscopeA federal appeals court has agreed with halting abortion regulations in Arkansas but an organization in the state remains optimistic the state laws will eventually be upheld.

The temporary hold put in place by Judge Kristine Baker in 2019, and upheld this week by a three-judge appeals court panel, involves laws against abortions that are 18 weeks into a woman's pregnancy.

Another law bans the procedure from being performed because the baby has Down syndrome.

David Cox of Arkansas-based Family Council says the court squandered an opportunity to uphold “good pro-life legislation” that passed with overwhelming support in 2019.

“We really believe that there was a good possibility this legislation would be upheld and so we're disappointed,” he tells One News Now. “But there is a good possibility for an appeal here to the full Eighth Circuit, so we're still optimistic that these laws ultimately could be upheld and could save the lives of unborn children."

Cox

In 2019, Judge Baker ruled both measures unconstitutionally restrict abortion before a baby is viable, or able to survive outside the womb.

Attorney General Leslie Rutledge defended the measures in court. Rutledge said she planned to seek further review of the appeals court's decision.

"One of the points that came up in the ruling was that if you're going to address abortion in this way, talking about the legislation, you really have to take the viability rule that the U.S. Supreme Court has established to task, and the viability rule really has to be addressed by the state," Cox continues. "So there may be an opportunity down the road because of this ruling for Arkansas and other states to seize that opportunity and make some good arguments in court about the U.S. Supreme Court's viability rule."

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