Ruling Will Close 38% of Texas Abortion Clinics

Appeals court reinstates central part of abortion law

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 1, 2013 12:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – Just this week, a federal judge called a central part of a new Texas abortion law unconstitutional; now, a US appeals court in New Orleans has reversed that ruling, the New York Times reports. In a temporary decision, judges yesterday said a rule requiring doctors performing abortions to have local hospital admitting privileges is probably constitutional; it doesn't put an "undue burden" on abortion rights and is "not designed to strike at the right itself." The court said the measure can stay in place as arguments proceed; a full hearing is likely in January, the AP notes. The case is likely to head to the Supreme Court, the Times adds. The ruling will force 12 of the state's 32 clinics providing abortions to halt them, possibly starting today, per the AP; the Times puts the number at 13 of 36.

"The incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion cannot be enough to invalidate" a law with the fair purpose of state regulation of doctors, the court said. "This unanimous decision is a vindication of the careful deliberation by the Texas Legislature to craft a law to protect the health and safety of Texas women," says state Attorney General Greg Abbott, who's running for governor and filed the appeal.

In this July 12, 2013 file photo, abortion rights supporters rally on the floor of the State Capitol rotunda in Austin, Texas.   (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa, File)
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