US District Judge Lee Yeakel Friday afternoon voided as 'medically unnecessary a key provision of the state's 2013 abortion restrictions, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
The judge ruled that a restriction that all clinics meet the strict standards of 'ambulatory care centers' is in reality an attempt to make it harder for a woman to obtain an abortion.
"The overall impact of this restriction is to create an impermissible obstacle to a woman's attempt to get a (legal) abortion," Judge Yeakel wrote in his opinion.
Pro Choice groups presented testimony that the restrictions were unnecessary for what is generally an outpatient, routine, medical procedure.. The state said the restrictions were necessary to protect women's health...citing the case of a 'butcher' abortionist in Pennsylvania.
The office of Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for Governor, said the ruling will be immediately appealed to the Fifth US Circuit Court of Appeals.. That same court previously overturned another ruling by Yeakel dismissing other portions of the abortion law, including a requirement that all abortion clinics have a doctor on staff with admitting privileges at a nearby hospital.. that restriction is currently in place and has been blamed for a sharp reduction in operating abortion clinic, especially in overwhelmingly Catholic South Texas.