July 3 (UPI) — A federal judge has again temporarily blocked Arkansas from becoming the first state to enforce a ban on pill-induced abortions.
U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker granted the injunction to prevent the state from enforcing a 2015 law that says doctors who prescribe abortion medication must have a contract with another physician who has hospital-admitting privileges.
Monday’s ruling comes after a prior 14-day restraining order by Baker expired.
The renewed injunction allows doctors to continue performing medication abortions while Planned Parenthood looks for physicians to form a contract, to comply with the law. The effort has been difficult because the clinic had not been able to find doctors willing to contract.
Christina Mullinax, Arkansas organizer for Planned Parenthood, said the ruling “demonstrates the court understands the irreparable harm it causes to women in Arkansas.”
“Our supporters are with us and we will continue to fight back on any future restrictions,” she added.
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge called the judges’s decision “extremely disappointing” and said the state will appeal.
In May, medication abortions were banned in Arkansas when the Supreme Court declined to review Planned Parenthood’s appeal, leaving it up to Baker’s court. Baker said its argument against the ban would likely succeed.