Federal judge rules controversial Texas abortion law unconstitutional
By Daniel Arkin, Staff Writer, NBC News
stunning move, a federal judge Monday ruled that abortion restrictions
authorized by Texas lawmakers in July are unconstitutional, and will not
be implemented as scheduled on Tuesday, according to court documents
obtained by NBC News.
The decision comes four months after
Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, now a candidate for governor, staged a
dramatic 13-hour filibuster against the proposed restrictions.
filibuster forced Gov. Rick Perry to order a second special legislative
session for the Republican-dominated Legislature to pass the
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel decided Monday
that the regulations impeded on the rights of abortion physicians to do
what they judge is best for their patients and would unreasonably limit a
woman's access to state abortion clinics.
Last week, Yeakel heard three days of testimony and oral arguments in
Austin about the hot-button law, which opponents and abortion rights
advocates sued to bar from taking effect.
including lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers,
contended that the rule that doctors have admitting privileges at a
hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would force a third of
the clinics in the state to shutter.
Abortion rights advocates
also argued that requiring physicians to abide the Food and Drug
Administration's original label for an abortion-inducing drug would
block women from taking advantage of recent strides in medical science.
The Texas attorney general's office, on the other hand, contended that the restrictions protect women and the life of the fetus.
General Greg Abbott was widely expected to file an emergency appeal of
Yeakel's order to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans,
according to the Associated Press.
Abbott, a Republican, is also running for governor.
Tuesday, September 2 2014 5:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 21:32:59 GMT
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