One of the provisions in question requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Following a three-day bench trial in the lower court, District Judge Lee Yeakel held that the requirement was unconstitutional and granted an injunction preventing it from going into effect. In his opinion, Yeakel argued that the provision “places a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion of a nonviable fetus.”
Immediately following Yeakel’s decision, Texas Attorney General Gregg Abbott filed an emergency appeal in the 5th Circuit Court, requesting a stay of the lower court’s injunction while the appeals battles continue on.
In Thursday’s decision, the court granted the state’s motion, writing that “there is a substantial likelihood that the State will prevail in its argument that Planned Parenthood failed to establish an undue burden on women seeking abortions or that the hospital-admitting-privileges requirement creates a substantial obstacle in the path of a woman seeking an abortion.”
Abortion rights groups, on the other hand, call the fight “far from over.”
Texas’ abortion restrictions gained national attention in June when Sen. Wendy Davis held a 13-hour filibuster against them.
Thursday’s ruling is not final, as the court is expected to hear the case again in January.