Court reinstates most of Texas abortion law
AUSTIN, Texas – A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled that most of Texas’ tough new abortion restrictions can take effect immediately – a decision that means a third of the state’s clinics that perform the procedure won’t be able to do so starting as soon as today.
A panel of judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans said the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital can take effect while a lawsuit challenging the restrictions moves forward. The panel issued the ruling three days after District Judge Lee Yeakel said the provision serves no medical purpose.
In its 20-page ruling, the appeals court panel acknowledged that the provision “may increase the cost of accessing an abortion provider and decrease the number of physicians available to perform abortions.”
However, the panel said that the U.S. Supreme Court has held that having “the incidental effect of making it more difficult or more expensive to procure an abortion cannot be enough to invalidate” a law that serves a valid purpose, “one not designed to strike at the right itself.”
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