Federal judge rules controversial Texas abortion law - kcentv.com - KCEN HD - Waco, Temple, and Killeen

Federal judge rules controversial Texas abortion law unconstitutional

Posted: Updated:

(NBC) -- In a stunning move, a federal judge Monday ruled that abortion restrictions authorized by Texas lawmakers in July are unconstitutional, and will not be implemented as scheduled on Tuesday, according to court documents obtained by NBC News.

The decision comes four months after Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, now a candidate for governor, staged a dramatic 13-hour filibuster against the proposed restrictions, widely considered among the most stringent in the country.

The filibuster forced Gov. Rick Perry to order a second special legislative session for the Republican-dominated Legislature to pass the controversial law.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel decided Monday that the regulations requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital impeded on the rights of physicians to do what they judge is best for their patients and would unreasonably limit a woman's access to state abortion clinics.

"The admitting-privileges provision of House Bill 2 does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman's health and, in any event, places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus and is thus an undue burden to her," Yeakel wrote in his decision.

Although Yeakel ruled that Texas could regulate how a doctor prescribes an abortion-inducing pull, he said the law did not permit a doctor to adjust treatment taken in order to best safeguard the health of the woman taking it. He barred the provision of the law mandating that doctors abide the Food and Drug Administration's procedure for drugs in all cases, according to the Associated Press.

He wrote: "The medication abortion provision may not be enforced against any physician who determines, in appropriate medical judgment, to perform the medication-abortion using off-label protocol for the preservation of the life or health of the mother."

Last week, Yeakel heard three days of testimony and oral arguments in Austin about the hot-button law, which opponents and abortion rights advocates sued to bar from taking effect.

Those opponents, including lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers, contended that the rule that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would force a third of the clinics in the state to shutter. 

The Texas attorney general's office, on the other hand, contended that the restrictions protect women and the life of the fetus.

Attorney General Greg Abbott was widely expected to file an emergency appeal of Yeakel's order to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, according to the AP. Abbott, a Republican, is also running for governor.

In a statement, Gov. Perry said that Monday's ruling "will not stop our ongoing efforts to protect life and ensure the women of our state aren't exposed to any more of the abortion-mill horror stories that have made headlines recently. We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans."

  • Latest NewsMore>>

  • Coyote Kills Family's Dog

    Coyote Kills Family's Dog

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:32 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:32:58 GMT
    Nichole Vernon and her mom were watching TV late Monday night, when they suddenly heard a horrible sound coming from the backyard."All the sudden we heard like this panic, not panic, but it was an awful dog sound,” said Vernon. Within seconds they were outside, but when they got there, Vernon's youngest Pomeranian named Baby was nowhere to be found. “The weird thing was whenever my dog started screaming five seconds later, not a sound,” Vernon said. “I mean in the neighborhood." Vernon sa...More >>
    Nichole Vernon and her mom were watching TV late Monday night, when they suddenly heard a horrible sound coming from the backyard."All the sudden we heard like this panic, not panic, but it was an awful dog sound,” said Vernon. Within seconds they were outside, but when they got there, Vernon's youngest Pomeranian named Baby was nowhere to be found. “The weird thing was whenever my dog started screaming five seconds later, not a sound,” Vernon said. “I mean in the neighborhood." Vernon sa...More >>
  • Willie Nelson’s Daughter Arrested for Weed Possession on 4/20

    Willie Nelson’s Daughter Arrested for Weed Possession on 4/20

    Thursday, April 24 2014 12:12 PM EDT2014-04-24 16:12:58 GMT
    Paula Nelson, Willie Nelson’s daughter, was arrested for possession of marijuana on April 20 in Menard, Texas. Appropriately enough, April 20, or 4/20, is a date set aside every year by pot-smokers to celebrate the cannabis plant, usually in mass smoking events.More >>
    Paula Nelson, Willie Nelson’s daughter, was arrested for possession of marijuana on April 20 in Menard, Texas. Appropriately enough, April 20, or 4/20, is a date set aside every year by pot-smokers to celebrate the cannabis plant, usually in mass smoking events.
    More >>
  • Boy, 14, Sexually Assaulted While Walking to School

    Boy, 14, Sexually Assaulted While Walking to School

    Thursday, April 24 2014 11:31 AM EDT2014-04-24 15:31:27 GMT
    Dallas police are searching for a man who they say sexually assaulted a mentally challenged teenage boy in southeast Dallas Wednesday morning.More >>
    Dallas police are searching for a man who they say sexually assaulted a mentally challenged teenage boy in southeast Dallas Wednesday morning.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KCEN, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.