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Federal judge keeps blocked abortion bills on hold in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.  —  A federal judge says three Arkansas abortion restrictions she temporarily blocked will remain on hold while she considers a lawsuit challenging them.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker on Tuesday granted a preliminary injunction blocking the restrictions. Baker last month blocked the laws but that ruling was set to expire late Tuesday.

The laws include a measure prohbiting the procedure 18 weeks into pregnancy. They also include a requirement that doctors performing abortions be board-certified or board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology. A Little Rock clinic that performs surgical abortions has one physician who meets that requirement, and he only works there a few days every other month.

Baker also blocked a law prohibiting doctors from performing an abortion if it’s being sought because the fetus was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

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