A federal appeals court on Thursday issued a ruling reinstating most of Texas’ tough new abortion restrictions.
A panel of judges at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued the ruling a day after District Judge Lee Yeakel said one provision serves no medical purpose.
The panel says the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital can take effect while a lawsuit moves forward. The restrictions could take effect Friday. Read the ruling here (.pdf).
The panel left in place a portion of Yeakel’s order that prevents the state from enforcing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocol for abortion-inducing drugs in cases where the woman is between 50 and 63 days into her pregnancy. Doctors testifying before the court had said such women would be harmed if the protocol were enforced.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had made an emergency appeal to the conservative 5th Circuit, arguing that the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges is a constitutional use of the Legislature’s authority.
Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers had argued that the regulations did not protect women and would shut down a third of the abortion clinics in Texas.