Breaking News: Federal judge declares Texas abortion restrictions unconstitutional

Wendy Davis and others hold up two fingers for a no vote

Some good news on the abortion access front today: a judge has ruled that new abortion restrictions in Texas are unconstitutional and will not go into affect Tuesday:

District Judge Lee Yeakel wrote Monday that the regulations violated the rights of abortion doctors to do what they think is best for their patients and would unreasonably restrict a woman’s access to abortion clinics.

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers brought the lawsuit, arguing that a requirement that doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the abortion clinic would force the closure of a third of the clinics in Texas. They also complained that requiring doctors to follow the Food and Drug Administration’s original label for an abortion-inducing drug would deny women the benefit of recent advances in medical science.

You probably remember how hard Texas anti-choicers had to work to get these unconstitutional restrictions passed in the first place,  even after Texans came out en masse to protest the bill, and Wendy Davis filibustered her way into our hearts and hopefully the job of Texas Governor.

State Attorney General Greg Abbott, Davis’ opponent in the governors race, is expected to file an emergency appeal of the court’s decision. But Judge Yeakel’s ruling is a final decision, not just an injunction. So while the 5th Circuit gets to review the merits of the law, here’s hoping this terrible law has been put to bed for good.

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/talulah42900/ Alisha Walker

    According to NBC news, the pieces of the law requiring each clinic be a surgical center and the ban on abortion after 20 weeks will still go into effect. This is much, much better, but it’s still not good enough.