A federal district court in Texas has struck down portions of that state’s restrictive new abortion law. Struck down was a rule that required a doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The judge also
struck down expressed some reservations on a stricter rule on when drug-induced abortions could be done.
The Texas law also banned abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy, but that provision is so far unchallenged. The 2013 Arkansas legislature also passed a 20-week abortion ban. It has not yet been challenged in court, but it probably will be if an appropriate plaintiff emerges. This likely a mother with a grievous health problem or a fetus unlikely to survive outside the womb barred from abortion in the state.
Pro-choice groups have been reluctant to challenge the 20-week ban for fear it might withstand legal challenge up to the U.S. Supreme Court and thus give a hard and earlier deadline for the time when abortions may not be prohibited. For now Roe v. Wade, with a fetus viability standard that allows legal abortion for four or five more weeks, is the law, though it has effectively been nullified in several states, including Arkansas. A federal court has enjoined the 12-week abortion ban the 2013 legislature approved. Both bans were approved over Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto. He said they were unconstitutional.
Texas will appeal the decision.