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Federal Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Regulations

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Federal Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Regulations

Federal Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Regulations

A federal judge in Texas blocked parts of a state law that would have imposed stricter regulations on abortion clinics. The ruling came Friday, three days before the new rules were supposed to go into effect.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel stated in his ruling that the laws would pose an undue burden on a woman's legal right to an abortion. The new rules would have mandated that abortion clinics in Texas make expensive facility upgrades and required their doctors to have admitting privileges to a nearby hospital.

Half of the abortion clinics in Texas closed when parts of the law went into effect earlier this year. Plaintiffs argued women most affected lived in south and west Texas. The judge agreed, saying the state law would impose significant travel and financial hardships on those women.

The state argued the new law makes abortion safer.  But the judge called that claim disingenuous after state attorneys said women in West Texas could travel to New Mexico for an abortion. New Mexico does not have the same requirements as Texas. 

A spokeswoman for the Texas Attorney General said their office will appeal the decision.