Judge Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law

High-profile new law deemed 'unconstitutional'
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2013 3:34 PM CDT
Judge Strikes Down Texas Abortion Law
State Senators, Sylvia R. Garcia, Wendy Davis, Royce West, Kirk Watson, and John Whitmire greet abortion rights advocates to show they voted against HB2, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)

In one swift ruling, a federal judge struck down parts of a Texas abortion law that had sparked weeks of protests and a high-profile filibuster, the Houston Chronicle reports. US District Judge Lee Yeakel issued a 26-page order saying that a key provision—requiring abortion providers to have admitting privileges in hospitals—was unconstitutional. The provision "places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her," wrote Yeakel.

"The court concludes that admitting privileges have no rational relationship to improved patient care," she added. Yeakel also struck down a statute that added restrictions on pregnancy-terminating drugs, saying it took away viable health option. The statute "is an undue burden on those women for whom surgical abortion is ... a significant health risk," she wrote. Yeakel's ruling came after three days of trial testimony in Austin, and a day before the law was set to kick in. Higher courts will no doubt make the final decision, the Chronicle notes. (More abortion stories.)

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