Society

Texas Anti-Abortion Law Blocked By U.S. Federal Judge, Declared Unconstitutional

| by Will Hagle

The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade found abortion to be a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution in 1973, and pro-life individuals, groups and politicians have been fighting the decision ever since.

One of abortion’s strongest critics has long been the outspoken Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Now, a federal judge has claimed that the governor's new anti-abortion legislation is unconstitutional. 

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The state’s new legislation, which Perry signed into law in July, had a wide range of restrictions on abortions. The legislation would limit abortions to taking place in surgical centers and would ban all abortions taking place after the 20th week of pregnancy. Several other provisions were included in the bill, which Gov. Perry claimed would “further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built.” 

Although these laws were expected to be enacted on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel blocked their implementation with a last minute decision declaring their unconstitutionality. Yeakel had been hearing pleas from attorneys representing groups such as Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice organizations throughout the past few weeks, who had sued the state after the bill was signed into law. 

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Since the new law required abortion doctors to have admitting to privileges to a hospital within 30 miles from the clinic, pro-life groups estimated that over one-third of abortion clinics throughout the state would be forced to close, NBC News reports. 

More information as to the law’s status is currently unfolding, as Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Attorney General Greg Abbott is expected to file an emergency appeal of Yeakel’s decision, according to NBC News.