Tentative trial date set in Ark. abortion ban case

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - A tentative trial date has been set in a lawsuit challenging a new Arkansas law that bans most abortions 12 weeks into a pregnancy.

An initial scheduling order filed Wednesday sets the proposed trial date for March 17.

The date comes in a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas and the Center for Reproductive Rights brought on behalf of 2 Little Rock abortion providers. A federal judge has blocked the law's enforcement while it's being challenged in court.

Arkansas' Republican-led Legislature enacted the 12-week ban in March when it overrode a veto from Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

Beebe and other opponents of the ban say it violates the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion until a fetus could viably survive outside the womb.

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