Federal district Judge Lee Yeakel this afternoon has invalidated portions of the controversial abortion regulations House Bill 2, blocking certain provisions from taking effect tomorrow, Oct. 29.
Specifically, Yeakel has ruled that a provision that requires doctors to obtain hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of each clinic where they perform abortions to be "without a rational basis and places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus."
Yeakel left in place a restriction that doctors providing pharmaceutical abortion must follow an older protocol, finding that provision does not "place such an obstacle, except when a physician finds such an abortion necessary, in appropriate medical judgment, for the preservation of the life or health of the mother."
Yeakel's ruling comes just hours before both provisions were set to take effect, beginning at midnight. During a trial last week, witnesses for the abortion providers who brought suit, arguing the provisions are unconstitutional, testified that more than 22,000 women would be left without access to services if the hospital admitting privilege portion were to take effect.
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