The controversy continues over new abortion restrictions in Texas. This time, it’s gone to the federal level.
Monday, District Judge Lee Yeakel blocked (one in full and one in part) two restrictions of the new abortion law.
Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed an emergency appeal in the 5th circuit. So, expect the fight to go on and on, possibly to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Here’s the background:
In May, Texas lawmakers went home without advancing any abortion-related bills.
They knew they’d be back. In June, Governor Rick Perry put abortion restrictions back on the agenda, as the first special session kicked off.
On June 25 – the bills entered the national spotlight. State Senator Wendy Davis strapped on her pink shoes for an 11-hour filibuster. She didn’t make it until the last minute, though. The state senate did have time for a vote, but the clock ran out, due, in part, to the shouts of protestors.
Within 24 hours, Perry announced a second special session, with abortion as top priority.
Then, both House and Senate passed the bill. Perry signed it into law July 18.
The law bans all abortions after 20 weeks, and requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as surgery centers by September 2014. All doctors who perform abortions have to be able to admit their patients to nearby hospitals and it requires state regulation of abortion-inducing pills.
In September, Planned Parenthood filed a federal lawsuit, challenging those last two requirements.