12 of the state's 32 abortion clinics will not open their doors today, after a three judge panel of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed an Austin judge and upheld the state's tough new abortion restrictions, 1200 WOAI news reports.
"About one in three women who seek an abortion in Texas will not be able to get one," Eric Farerro of Planned Parenthood of Texas told 1200 WOAI news. "The health center in their community will be prevented from providing abortion which, it is important to remember, is a safe and legal medical procedure in this country."
Supporters of abortion restrictions were ecstatic.
"The decision affirms our right to protect both the unborn and the health of the women of Texas," Gov. Perry said. "We will continue doing everything we can to protect a culture of life in our state."
The restrictions that were first thrown out, and then upheld require all abortion clinics to have a physician on staff who has admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic. Several other restrictions, including limiting abortions to 20 weeks gestation, were allowed to go into affect by the trial judge.
This is far from the last word on the issue.
"All part of the law that were approved by the Legislature will go into effect," said Gerald Treece, a professor at the South Texas College of Law in Houston. "This will be while the full appeals court considers the case."
What's next is what is called an 'en banc,' hearing before the court, in which all nine appeals court justices will consider the case. And there is also a trial on the merits set for early next year.
"This fight is far from over," declared Cecile Richard, the President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America."
Chances are the case will eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The ruling gives Texas the toughest abortion restrictions in the country, and will undoubtedly encourage other states to approve restrictions which mirror the ones which have been upheld in Texas.
It is also a major victory for the conservative wing of the Republican Party going into the 2014 elections.