U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled Monday that the abortion restrictions passed this summer by the state of Texas are unconstitutional. The ruling after a three-day trial deciding whether a state can "restrict when, where and how women obtain abortions" concluded the legislation not only violates women's access to abortion clinics, but also violates the right of doctors to do what's best for the women they treat, WWMT reported.
The abortion restrictions in the law are some of the strictest in the nation including bans on abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy and requirements forcing doctors to perform all abortions in surgical facilities.
Lawyers for Planned Parenthood argued that the legislation, which required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile radius of a clinic, would result in the closure of one third of the abortion clinics in Texas.
The state attorney general's office contended that the law would protect not only the mother but the fetus. An emergency appeal is expected to be filed with the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans. If the 5th Circuit Court decides to review the appeal, they will be required to look at the injunction against it as well as the law itself.
The legislation passed the Texas legislature after a 13-hour filibuster led by state lawmaker Wendy Davis, who is now running for governor. Texas Gov. Rick Perry was forced to call lawmakers back for a special session to pass the bill. Another highly restrictive abortion law, passed by Mississippi lawmakers last year, has also been deemed unconstitutional by a federal judge.
Texas Atty. General Greg Abbott, who argued the case for the state, is also running for governor, raising the political importance of the legal battle.