Judge finds Texas abortion rules unconstitutional

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FILE – In this Aug. 11, 2014 file photo, the Hilltop Women’s Reproductive clinic is photographed in El Paso, Texas. A federal judge Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, threw out new Texas abortion restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics in the state. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sided with clinics that sued over one of the most disputed measures of a sweeping anti-abortion bill signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry in 2013. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca, File)

FILE – In this Aug. 11, 2014 file photo, the Hilltop Women’s Reproductive clinic is photographed in El Paso, Texas. A federal judge Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, threw out new Texas abortion restrictions that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics in the state. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sided with clinics that sued over one of the most disputed measures of a sweeping anti-abortion bill signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry in 2013. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca, File)

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Tough new Texas abortion restrictions are on hold after a judge found Republican-led efforts to hold abortion clinics to hospital-level operating standards unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled Friday that Texas has reached a “tipping point” with new laws that he called state-imposed obstacles to a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.

His decision throws out requirements that threatened to effectively close more than a dozen clinics.

The Attorney General’s office said Saturday that it had filed an appeal of the ruling.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed the law in 2013. He and other conservatives say the requirements are necessary to protect women’s health.

The new rules had been set to take effect Monday.

Associated Press

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