Victory! In April, 2013, the ACLU, ACLU of Arkansas and the Centers for Reproductive Rights challenged in federal court a 2013 law that banned abortions after twelve weeks of pregnancy, saying it violated the right of a woman to terminate a pregnancy before viability. The federal court agreed. However, the court upheld a separate provision mandating that doctors perform an ultrasound on women seeking abortions and then inform her in writing whether the fetus has a “heartbeat,” and what the chances are of carrying a fetus of that gestational age to term.

The State appealed, and the 8th Circuit affirmed the lower court ruling. The State then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case but the Court declined, thereby allowing the prior decisions to stand.

Status: The 12-week abortion ban was overturned.

Date filed

July 14, 2016


U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Arkansas


U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright



Case number