Part of restrictive Texas abortion bill struck down

By Kyle Johnson,

A federal judge struck down part of a restrictive Texas abortion bill on Friday, ruling it creates an undue burden upon women seeking the procedure.

The mandate would have shut down a dozen of the 19 abortion clinics in the state as it required all the providers to meet hospital surgery center standards, CBS News reports. The ruling comes just three days before the bill was set to go into effect.

"The overall effect of the provisions is to create an impermissible obstacle as applied to all women seeking a previability abortion," U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote in his decision.

Supporters of the mandate claimed it would better protect women's health, while opponents say it's simply an attempt to make it all but impossible to obtain an abortion in the state.

"We are extremely pleased by Judge Yeakel's ruling today," Whole Woman's Health chief executive Amy Hagstrom Miller said, according to The New York Times. "As he clearly states in his decision, requiring every abortion clinic to turn into a surgical center is excessive and not based on good medicine."

Texas plans to appeal Yeakel's ruling, which they successfully have done once before. He struck down another mandate of the law, which required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the clinic, but the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled him.

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