U.S. Judge Strikes Down Texas Abortion Limits

Source: Michael Winter / USA Today

A federal judge has struck down strict limits on abortion in Texas that were to take effect Tuesday.

District Judge Lee Yeakel declared that two statutes, passed during a special legislative session this summer, unconstitutionally restricted women’s access to abortion clinics and infringed on doctors’ rights to act in their patients’ best interests.

In a 26-page opinion, Yeakel also blocked a provision requiring physicians to strictly follow follow U.S. Food and Drug Administration guidelines when prescribing pregnancy-ending drugs, limiting their treatment options. He called the lawmakers’ action “an undue burden on those women for whom surgical abortion is, in the sound medical opinion of their treating physician, a significant health risk.”

The judge also struck down the statue that required doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of an abortion clinic, which opponents said would force 13 of the state’s 32 clinics to close.

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