Jul 23, 7:33 PM EDT

Arkansas continues defending 12-week abortion ban


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel is continuing to defend the state's 12-week abortion ban to a federal appeals court, arguing the state has a legitimate interest in barring the procedure at that point in a woman's pregnancy.

McDaniel on Wednesday filed a reply brief with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which is weighing whether to uphold a federal judge's decision that the 12-week ban is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright struck down the ban in March.

McDaniel argued in the brief that the ban is constitutional under existing court precedent.

The Republican-led Legislature approved the ban last year, overriding a veto by Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe.

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