Lawsuit filed challenging Arkansas’ near-total abortion ban

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FILE – In this Feb. 25, 2018 file photo, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks at the National Governor Association 2018 winter meeting in Washington. Arkansas lawmakers have sent the governor legislation banning most abortions 18 weeks into a woman’s pregnancy, a prohibition that could be the strictest in the country. The House on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, gave final approval by an 86-1 vote to the bill, which Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said he supports. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Abortion rights supporters are suing Arkansas to challenge the state’s near-total ban on the procedure.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood on Wednesday asked a federal judge to strike down the new law, which takes effect July 28. The measure bans all abortions except those to protect the life of the mother.

The ban is part of an effort by conservatives to force the U.S. Supreme Court to review is 1973 decision legalizing abortion nationwide.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed the ban despite concerns about its constitutionality and its lack of rape and incest exceptions.

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