A federal judge in Austin late Thursday blocked a tough new law to restrict abortion which was set to take effect today, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Outlawing the most commonly used type of abortion, called 'dilation and evacuation,' and blasted by pro life groups as 'dismemberment abortions' was a key mission of Gov. Abbott and the Republican dominated Legislature in the regular session which ended in May.
The group Whole Women's Health, which has challenged previous abortion restrictions approved in Texas, says the procedure of abortion is legal, and it is not up to politicians to determine how physicians will do their jobs."
The law would not only violate the Constitutional rights of women, but it would place unbelievable new restrictions on them," said Janet Krepps, the lead attorney in the lawsuit. "Require them to make extra trips and delay the procedure, and in many cases put abortion out of reach."
But Mark Rylander of the Texas Attorney General's office said the restriction is legal, and the order blocking it for two weeks is 'outrageous.'
"Dismemberment abortions are gruesome and inhumane, which makes it troubling that a District Judge would block Texas' lawful authority," he said.
Joe Pojman of Texans Alliance for Life, warns that similar restrictions approved in other states have also been thrown out, so the state's hopes, at least in U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel's courtroom, is a long shot.
"There's a high bar to meet, because the other federal judges in other states have not done well," he said.
This case, like other attempts by Texas lawmakers to restrict abortion rights, will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court.