Judge blocks enforcement of Texas law on abortion-safety provisions
October 28, 2013
A federal judge has ruled that a newly enacted law regulating abortion in the state of Texas violates the US Constitution, and blocked enforcement of the new legislation.
Judge Lee Yeakel ruled that the provision of the Texas law that requires abortionists to have admitting privileges at a local hospital creates an unjustified obstacle to access to abortion. The judge wrote that the provision "does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman's health."
Judge Yeakel similarly ruled that the law was wrong to require that doctors prescribing abortifacient pills should adhere strictly to the protocol for administering those pills set forth by the US Food and Drug Administration.
Judge Yeakel, who was appointed to the federal bench by President George W. Bush, was entering the public debate on abortion for a 2nd time. In April 2012 he ruled that it was unconstitutional to stipulate that state funds could not be used to support Planned Parenthood.
The judge's ruling blocks full enforcement of the Texas law, which was scheduled to take effect this week, and might have forced several abortion clinics to cease operations. Texas will almost certainly appeal the decision.