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Edwards v. Beck

Federal court challenge to an Arkansas law that bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected with an abdominal ultrasound, generally around 12 weeks of pregnancy. In May 2013, the U.S. District Court granted an injunction until there is a ruling on the constitutionality of the law. The U.S. District Court declared the 12-week ban unconstitutional. The challenged law also mandates that providers perform an ultrasound and notify the woman if a fetal heartbeat is present — those provisions remain in place. In May 2015, a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court's decision. The full 8th Circuit in July 2015 declined to rehear the case en banc. In October 2015, the state petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. Final Outcome: In January 2016, the Supreme Court declined to review the case, leaving the 8th Circuit’s decision in place. (See the law here. See the complaint here. See the temporary injunction here. See the permanent injunction here. See the 8th Circuit decision here. Learn more about the case here.)