Fed judge: Texas abortion limits unconstitutional

October 28, 2013 by Chris Tomlinson

New abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled on Tuesday, a federal judge has ruled.

District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote Monday that the regulations violated the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients and would unreasonably restrict a woman's access to abortion clinics.

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers brought the lawsuit, arguing that a requirement that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (48 kilometers) of the would force the closure of a third of the clinics in Texas. They also complained that requiring doctors to follow the Food and Drug Administration's original label for an -inducing drug would deny women the benefit of recent advances in medical science.

Beth Shapiro, chairwoman of board of directors of Lubbock's Planned Parenthood Women's Health Center, said no hospital in Lubbock has granted privileges to the lone doctor from eastern Texas who flies in to do abortions when there are procedures scheduled. There is not incentive for hospitals to do so, she said.

"I don't see why local hospitals would give privileges to someone who's not going to admit patients," Shapiro said. "I don't see what the business and financial incentive would be," she said. ... It's "more work and not going to increase patient load."

The Texas attorney general's office argued that the law protects women and the life of the fetus. Attorney General Greg Abbott was expected to file an emergency appeal of Yeakel's order to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Mississippi passed a similar law last year, which a also blocked pending a trial scheduled to begin in March. Mississippi's asked the 5th Circuit to lift the temporary injunction so the law could be enforced, but the judges have left it in place signaling they believe there is a legitimate constitutional question.

Unlike the Mississippi case, Yeakel's order is a final decision, setting the groundwork for the 5th Circuit to review the merits of the law, not just an injunction against it.

Explore further: Judge: Texas can't cut funds to Planned Parenthood

Related Stories

Judge: Texas can't cut funds to Planned Parenthood

May 6, 2012
(AP) -- A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Texas cannot ban Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds, at least until a lower court has a chance to hear formal arguments.

Judge continues to block Mississippi abortion law

July 11, 2012
(AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday continued to block a state law that threatened to shut down Mississippi's only abortion clinic and make it nearly impossible for a woman to get the procedure in the state.

Ala. lawmakers tighten rules for abortion clinics

April 3, 2013
(AP)—Alabama lawmakers have given final passage to a measure placing stricter regulations on clinics that provide abortions.

Only Miss. abortion clinic can't comply with law

January 12, 2013
Mississippi's only abortion clinic has missed a Friday deadline to comply with a new state law that requires each of its physicians to get hospital admitting privileges—a law the governor said he signed with the hopes of ...

US abortion clinic fights law that may shut it

November 28, 2012
(AP)—Attorneys for Mississippi's only abortion clinic are again asking a federal judge to block a state law that could close the facility.

US judge delays state's abortion law

July 22, 2013
(AP)—A federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked a new North Dakota law that bans abortion when a fetal heartbeat is detected—as early as six weeks into pregnancy, calling the law "clearly invalid and unconstitutional."

Recommended for you

Smoking linked with higher risk of type 2 diabetes

March 15, 2018
The prevalence of diabetes has increased almost 10-fold in China since the early 1980s, with one in 10 adults in China now affected by diabetes. Although adiposity is the major modifiable risk factor for diabetes, other research ...

Key drivers of high US healthcare spending identified

March 13, 2018
The major drivers of high healthcare costs in the U.S. appear to be higher prices for nearly everything—from physician and hospital services to diagnostic tests to pharmaceuticals—and administrative complexity.

Pedometer health boost lasts four years

March 13, 2018
Wearing a pedometer to count your daily steps can keep you healthier and more active for as long as four years after using it, a new study shows.

Toilet-to-tap: Gross to think about, but how does it taste?

March 13, 2018
Here's a blind test taste like Pepsi never imagined. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, recently published a study of recycled wastewater that did not focus on its safety-which has long been established-but ...

The Great Recession took a toll on public health, study finds

March 12, 2018
The Great Recession, spanning 2008 to 2010, was associated with heightened cardiovascular risk factors, including increased blood pressure and glucose levels, according to a new UCLA-led study. The connections were especially ...

Lead poisoning may hasten death for millions in US: study

March 12, 2018
Persistent, low-level exposure to lead over decades is statistically linked to some 400,000 premature deaths in the United States each year, far more than previously thought, researchers said Monday.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.