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Judge Blocks Arkansas Law that Required Abortionists to Be Certified in Women's Health


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A federal judge has blocked three new abortion restrictions from taking effect today in Arkansas, including one that an official with Arkansas' only surgical abortion clinic said would force the facility to close.

The law required doctors performing abortions to be board-certified or board-eligible in obstetrics and gynecology. 

The judge also blocked two other abortion restriction laws that were to go into effect today, one banning late-term abortions. The other prohibits doctors from performing the procedure if it's solely being sought because the fetus was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

US District Court Judge Kristine Baker heard the abortion provider's challenge during a hearing on Monday. 

The laws are among several abortion restrictions approved by Arkansas' Republican-dominated Legislature this year.

Little Rock Family Planning Services and Planned Parenthood filed lawsuits against all three laws.

Planned Parenthood earlier this month stopped providing medication-induced abortions at its Fayetteville facility while it looks for a new location, but is still performing those abortions at its Little Rock center.

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