KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Federal Judge Blocks Parts Of Texas Abortion Law

A federal judge in Texas Monday partially blocked an abortion law there that would have required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals in order to perform the procedure -- a move that abortion rights advocates say would have shuttered nearly all the state's abortion clinics. The judge also blocked part of the law that restricted the use of medication-induced abortion. Law proponents plan to appeal.

The New York Times: Judge In Texas Partly Rejects Abortion Law
A federal judge in Texas on Monday blocked an important part of the state's restrictive new abortion law, which would have required doctors performing the procedure to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital (Eckholm, 10/28).

Los Angeles Times: Judge Rules Part Of Texas Abortion Law Unconstitutional 
Some controversial new Texas abortion restrictions are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled Tuesday, a federal judge ruled Monday. "Today's ruling marks an important victory for Texas women and sends a clear message to lawmakers: It is unconstitutional for politicians to pass laws that take personal, private decisions away from women and their doctors," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (Hennessey-Fiske, 10/28).

The Washington Post: Judge Blocks Parts Of Texas Abortion Law
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel represents a legal victory for abortion providers, who had challenged new requirements that abortion doctors must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic and that all abortions must take place in surgical centers, rather than allowing women to take abortion drugs at home (Eilperin, 10/28).

The Associated Press/Washington Post: After Judge's Ruling To Throw Out New Law, Texas Abortion Clinics Set To Resume Appointments
The only abortion clinic in a 300-mile swath of West Texas can resume taking appointments Tuesday, after a federal judge struck down new restrictions that would have effectively shuttered it and at least a dozen other clinics across the state. Lubbock's Planned Parenthood Women’s Health Center had stopped making appointments last week, bracing for this week's scheduled enforcement of a new requirement that all doctors performing abortions in the state must have admitting privileges at a hospital less than 30 miles away (10/29).

The Wall Street Journal: Abortion Law Partly Blocked
The case concerning the new law, which was scheduled to take effect Tuesday, will now head to federal appeals court. A group of abortion-rights groups filed suit last month claiming the admitting-privileges requirement would unconstitutionally infringe on women's abortion rights, forcing many of the state's licensed abortion providers to stop performing the procedure. Similar lawsuits challenging admitting-privileges requirements have been filed in Alabama, Mississippi, North Dakota and Wisconsin (Koppel, 10/28).

Politico: Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Restrictions
A federal district court has ruled that one abortion restriction passed by the Texas state Legislature over the summer is unconstitutional and has partially blocked another. District Judge Lee Yeakel has blocked the state from enforcing a requirement that abortion-providing doctors obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals -- a restriction that would have ended abortion services at one-third of the health centers currently providing them. He also blocked restrictions on the use of medication abortion. Both restrictions would have gone into effect on Tuesday (Villacorta, 10/29).

Bloomberg: Texas Abortion Ruling May Begin Climb To Supreme Court
A federal judge struck down a Texas law requiring abortion doctors to be affiliated with local hospitals, a tactic tried by opponents in several states to restrict the procedure, beginning what may be a climb to the U.S. Supreme Court.  U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin ruled that compulsory affiliation "does not bear a rational relationship to the legitimate right of the state in preserving and promoting fetal life or a woman's health" (Young and Harris, 10/29).

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