State files reply in Arkansas abortion ban lawsuit

LITTLE ROCK, AR (AP) - State attorneys have filed a reply in support of a motion for partial summary judgment in a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of a new Arkansas law banning most abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

The reply filed by the attorney general's office Friday in federal court in Little Rock says the "informed consent" portion of the law is constitutional and should be removed from the lawsuit.

It says the law first requires a physician to determine if the fetus of the woman seeking an abortion has a heartbeat. Then - if a heartbeat is found - to inform the woman of the heartbeat and the probable gestational age of her fetus.

The law then prohibits most abortions if the fetus is found to be 12 weeks old.

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