Texas abortion law struck down by appeals court

Image copyright EPA Image caption The anti-abortion case could go before the U.S. Supreme Court this term Texas has lost its latest legal battle to bar most abortions in the state, according to court…

Texas abortion law struck down by appeals court

Image copyright EPA Image caption The anti-abortion case could go before the U.S. Supreme Court this term

Texas has lost its latest legal battle to bar most abortions in the state, according to court documents.

A federal appeals court ruled that the law is unconstitutional and said abortion clinics can continue to open.

The appeals court made the ruling three months after a district court judge found the law must be blocked.

The state had argued that the law was needed to protect the health of women.

The law bans doctors from performing abortions 20 weeks after conception, starting on 10 July. Doctors who perform abortions after 20 weeks will be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their medical practice.

The Texas law has been upheld by federal courts at the appeals and federal level in the past. However, federal appeals court judge Guy Cole Jr said the Texas law had trampled on women’s health by imposing a burden on abortion access without evidence that the measure in itself would reduce the rate of non-viable pregnancies.

Even though the main judge on the Texas law, Judge Lee Yeakel, voted with Judge Cole to stay the law, the ruling will mean clinics will have to remain open and can continue to offer abortions even as they seek legal challenges on their operating permits.

Legal battles over abortion rights are largely settled in the U.S. Supreme Court after its landmark 1973 Roe v Wade ruling, which established a nationwide right to abortion.

The country is divided on the merits of abortion.

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