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Court asked to reconsider ruling on Arkansas abortion laws

August 21, 2020 GMT

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Abortion rights supporters asked a federal appeals court Friday to reconsider a ruling that would allow four restrictions on the procedure in Arkansas to take effect.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights asked the full 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear a three-judge panel’s decision earlier this month that lifted a 2017 ruling blocking the restrictions.

The challenged restrictions include a ban on a common second-trimester procedure and a fetal remains law that opponents say would effectively require a partner’s consent before a woman could get an abortion.

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The groups had challenged the measures, suing on behalf of Dr. Frederick Hopkins, a Little Rock abortion provider.

The appeals panel said the case needs to be reconsidered in light of a recent decision on abortion by the U.S. Supreme Court. The groups, however, contend the panel wrongly relied on a concurring opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts that said state legislatures have wide discretion.