Tags: texas | abortion | law | appeal

Texas Abortion Law: State Files Appeal After Judge's Ruling

Image: Texas Abortion Law: State Files Appeal After Judge's Ruling Protesters in front of Southwestern Women's Surgery Center in Dallas, Texas, Oct. 28, 2013.

Tuesday, 29 Oct 2013 01:44 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an emergency motion Monday with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans after a federal judge struck down a provision of the state's new abortion law as unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled Monday that a provision allowing doctors who perform abortions admitting privileges at a nearby hospital violates the doctor's right to do what they think is best for their patients. The judge also ruled it would unreasonably restrict a woman’s access to abortion clinics, Fox News reported. 

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"As everyone ... has acknowledged, this is a matter that will ultimately be resolved by the appellate courts or the U.S. Supreme Court," Lauren Bean, a spokeswoman for the Texas Attorney General's Office, said.

The Austin American-Statesman reported that Yeakel said the admitting privileges provision "does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman’s health." 

Abortion doctors' admitting privileges would have forced 13 of the state’s 32 abortion facilities to close Tuesday.

The judge also blocked the state from enforcing a provision regulating the dispensing of abortion-inducing drugs for "women for whom surgical abortion is, in the sound medical opinion of their treating physician, a significant health risk."

Yeakel allowed other parts of the provision, including a requirement for one extra office visit, to stand.

In a statement, Texas governor and former presidential candidate Rick Perry said that Texas will charge forward to get the law validated in court, according to the Houston Chronicle. 

"Today's decision will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren't exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently," Perry said. "We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans."

Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis shot to national prominence in July by filibustering for 12 hours to prevent the bill from becoming law in a special session in the Texas legislature.

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Related stories:

Abortion Providers Ask Judge to Halt Texas Law

Many Texas Abortion Clinics May Stay Open Despite New Law

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