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NATIONAL
November 4, 2013 | By David G. Savage and Molly Hennessy-Fiske
WASHINGTON - The legal push in some Republican-controlled states to restrict abortion rights suffered a setback Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Oklahoma's appeal seeking to reinstate a law that effectively banned the use of abortion-inducing drugs. The court's decision delivered a surprise victory for abortion rights groups and was seen as a sign that while conservative justices may be open to giving states new powers to restrict abortion, they are not ready to impose sweeping new limits that would significantly interfere with women's constitutionally protected rights.
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NATIONAL
November 4, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - In a surprise victory for defenders of abortion rights, the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed Oklahoma's appeal of a state law that would have effectively prevented doctors from prescribing two drugs commonly used to induce abortions in the first nine weeks of a pregnancy. The court's one-line order suggests most of the justices are not willing to even consider a state law that goes that far. In June, the high court had tentatively agreed to hear Oklahoma's defense of the 2011 law, which restricted how doctors could prescribe the abortion-inducing drugs.
NEWS
November 1, 2013 | By Carla Hall
It's unfortunate that an appellate court judge in Texas on Thursday lifted an injunction against two onerous restrictions in that state's new abortion law. Just days before, a lower court federal judge had ruled those restrictions unconstitutional because they hindered a woman's legal right to an abortion. This restrictive and unfair law has had an embattled path to daylight, and it's not over yet. No wonder that U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel, the first federal judge to rule on it, observed in his opinion that abortion “is the most divisive issue to face this country since slavery.” This is the law that Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis famously blocked from being passed in late June when she filibustered for 13 hours, standing in pink gym shoes, on the floor of the state Legislature as a special session came to a close.
NATIONAL
October 31, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - A three-judge panel of the federal appeals court in New Orleans lifted an injunction Thursday mostly allowing the state's new abortion restrictions to take effect. The decision came three days after a federal judge in Texas blocked some of the restrictions that he found unconstitutional, including a provision requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and limits on medication-induced abortions. But the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals panel sided with state officials who asked for an emergency stay so that the new law could take effect pending a final decision.
NATIONAL
October 31, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
HOUSTON - A federal appeals court allowed most of Texas' new abortion restrictions to take effect immediately, lifting an injunction Thursday that had suspended much of the law. The decision came three days after U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin blocked restrictions that he found unconstitutional, including one that requires doctors at abortion clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and another that limits medication-induced abortions....
NATIONAL
October 29, 2013 | By David G. Savage, This post has been corrected. See the note at the bottom for details.
WASHINGTON - Oklahoma's high court set the stage Tuesday for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule this term on an abortion dispute over whether states may restrict doctors from prescribing the two drugs that are commonly used by women who seek an abortion in the first weeks of their pregnancy. The Oklahoma case could be the first test of whether the court's conservative majority will uphold the new state laws that seek to strictly regulate legal abortions. The legislatures in Oklahoma, Texas and several other states have adopted laws that require doctors to follow the Food and Drug Administration's protocols for the use of “any abortion-inducing drug.” The laws forbid doctors to prescribe medications for “off-label use.” Sponsors of the laws said they wanted to protect the health of women.
NATIONAL
October 29, 2013 | By David G. Savage
WASHINGTON - Oklahoma's high court on Tuesday set the stage for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether states can restrict doctors from prescribing two drugs used to induce abortion in the early stages of pregnancy. The case could be the first test of whether the court's conservative majority will uphold a string of new state laws across the country that seek to strictly regulate legal abortions. In the last three years, Republican-led states have passed laws to limit abortion without banning it outright.
NATIONAL
October 28, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
A federal judge is expected to rule Monday on the constitutionality of a controversial Texas abortion law set to take effect Tuesday. Last week, U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel heard three days of testimony and oral arguments in Austin about the law, which opponents sued to block after its passage this past summer . The law would limit medication-induced abortions and require doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals to perform abortions,...
NATIONAL
October 28, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Some controversial new Texas abortion restrictions are unconstitutional and will not take effect as scheduled on Tuesday, a federal judge ruled Monday. “Today's ruling marks an important victory for Texas women and sends a clear message to lawmakers: It is unconstitutional for politicians to pass laws that take personal, private decisions away from women and their doctors," said Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. After Texas lawmakers approved the new restrictions this summer , Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers challenged them in court , arguing that they unfairly limited medication-induced abortion and forced doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital near the abortion clinic where they work, in effect closing a third of clinics statewide.
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