The federal 8th Circuit Court of Appeals has backed a previous ruling to strike down the Arkansas 12-week abortion ban and ordered the state to pay over $28,000 of costs and legal fees to the winning attorneys, the Associated Press reports.
Passed in 2013 by a supermajority over Governor Mike Beebe’s veto, the law forbids abortion if a heartbeat can be found as early as twelve weeks, but was challenged as an unconstitutional imposition on the so-called right to choose abortion.
After a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit sided against the law in May, determining that viability was the only basis for abortion limits that complied with Roe v. Wade, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge filed an appeal for the entire court to hear the case, which was ultimately unsuccessful.
According to the latest ruling, the state must pay the pro-abortion lawyers $76.30 in costs, $27,060 in attorney’s fees, and $1,375 in expenses.
Preborn babies’ heartbeats can most commonly be detected as early as 12 weeks, but begin at approximately 3 weeks, one day post-fertilization, and can sometimes be heard as early as eight weeks.