Ark. asks court to uphold 'heartbeat' test in law

LITTLE ROCK (AP) - Arkansas is asking a federal judge to uphold the part of a state law banning abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy that requires doctors to test for a fetal heartbeat before performing the procedure at that point.

The attorney general's office on Friday asked a federal judge to uphold that portion of the law as constitutional while the challenge to the 12-week ban is being considered. A trial has been set for next year on a lawsuit filed by two Little Rock doctors who perform abortions.

U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright on May 17 blocked the enforcement of the 12-week ban.

The state asked Wright to uphold a part of the law requiring abdominal ultrasounds before abortions are performed 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

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