A federal judge in Austin today blocked enforcement of a new state law that requires all abortion clinics to employ a staff doctor who has admitting privileges at a hospital no more than 30 miles from the clinic, ruling that the provision is not medically necessary, 1200 WOAI news reports.
But U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled other portions of HB2, which was passed amid high lever tension by the Legislature in July, can be enforced later this month as scheduled, including a provision restricting where so called 'abortion drugs' can be used.
The bill was the one that State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth), who is now a candidate for governor, filibustered for 11 hours, making her a national celebrity. The law was defended in federal court by Attorney General Greg Abbott, the Republican candidate for governor.
If the law requiring the doctors to have admitting privileges as nearby hospitals were to take effect, a majority of the state's 42 abortion clinics would have to shut down.
Republicans said that pro choice groups are willing to put blind political ideology ahead of the health of women seeking abortions.
"These extremists are desperate to keep playing fast and loose with women's health, resisting all increased health and safety standards provided under the pending law," a statement from Texas Right to Life said.