The next round in the fight over Texas' abortion restrictions begins today.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel heard arguments on whether Texas' strict new abortion limits should be suspended until opponents can contest their legality at a full trial. The hearing began at 9 a.m.
Planned Parenthood asked the federal judge to delay enforcement of the admitting privileges rule and medical-abortion restrictions on constitutional grounds. Texas attorney general Greg Abbott has argued that the restrictions, which are set to come into force Oct. 29, are constitutional.
The law, which passed despite Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis’ filibuster and massive protests on both sides of the issue at the State Capitol, restricts how, when and where a woman can obtain an abortion in Texas. It requires doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals to perform abortions, only allows abortions in surgical centers, bans the procedure after 20 weeks, and also limits medical abortions.
If the law goes into effect as proposed, abortion clinics in Fort Worth, Harlingen, Killeen, Lubbock, McAllen and Waco will have to close by next Tuesday.
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