KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Federal Judge’s Ruling Blocks Shutdown Of Texas Abortion Clinics

Another ruling in Louisiana also puts a temporary hold on a restrictive law in that state -- one that would require abortion providers to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

The New York Times: Judge Rejects Texas Stricture On Abortions
A federal judge in Austin, Tex., blocked a stringent new rule on Friday that would have forced more than half of the state's remaining abortion clinics to close, the latest in a string of court decisions that have at least temporarily kept abortion clinics across the South from being shuttered. The Texas rule, requiring all abortion clinics to meet the building, equipment and staffing standards of hospital-style surgery centers, had been set to take effect on Monday (Eckholm and Fernandez, 8/29).

Los Angeles Times: Federal Judge Strikes Down Key Part Of Restrictive Texas Abortion Law
Proponents of abortion rights, noting that Texas had 40 clinics before HB 2 was passed, cheered [Judge Lee] Yeakel's ruling. They said it was the third decision in a month that knocked down the requirement on admitting privileges after judges in Alabama and Mississippi reached similar conclusions (La Ganga and Hennessy-Fiske, 8/29).

Politico: Federal Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Clinic Law
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said a provision requiring the clinics to meet the same building requirements as ambulatory surgical centers would impose "an unconstitutional undue burden on women throughout Texas and must be enjoined." The requirement, which was to take effect Monday, would have forced at least a dozen clinics to shut down. Fewer than seven facilities would then have remained, with much of the state left without any abortion provider (Villacorta, 8/29).

The Washington Post: Federal Court Blocks Tex. Rule That Could Have Closed Most Of State's Abortion Clinics
A federal judge Friday blocked a Texas restriction set to take effect Monday that could have led to the closure of most of the abortion clinics in the state. ... Lauren Bean, a spokeswoman for the Texas attorney general’s office, said the state would appeal. "The State disagrees with the court's ruling and will seek immediate relief," she said in a statement (Somashekhar, 8/29).

Kaiser Health News: Federal Judge Blocks Texas Restriction On Abortion Clinics
In a highly anticipated ruling, a federal judge in Austin struck down part of a Texas law that would have required all abortion clinics in the state to meet the same standards as outpatient surgical centers. The regulation, which was set to go into effect Monday, would have shuttered about a dozen abortion clinics, leaving only eight places in Texas to get a legal abortion -- all in major cities (Feibel, 8/30).

Dallas Morning News: Judge Tosses Out New Requirements For Abortion Clinics In Texas
A federal judge threw out new Texas abortion restrictions Friday that would have effectively closed more than a dozen clinics statewide in a victory for opponents of tough new anti-abortion laws sweeping across the U.S. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel sided with clinics that sued over one of the most disputed measures of a sweeping anti-abortion bill signed by Republican Gov. Rick Perry in 2013. The ruling stops new clinic requirements that would have left seven abortion facilities in Texas come Monday, when the law was set to take effect (Martin, 8/29).

Reuters: U.S. Judge Halts Major Part Of Texas Law Restricting Abortions
A U.S. judge struck down parts of a law restricting abortions in Texas, saying in a decision on Friday that a provision requiring clinics to have certain hospital-like settings for surgeries was unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel said the so-called "ambulatory surgical center requirement" was unjust because it placed an undue burden on women by reducing the number of clinics where they could seek abortions and the regulations had no compelling public health interests (Herskovitz and Garza, 8/29).

The Wall Street Journal: Judge Blocks Enforcement Of New Louisiana Abortion Law
A federal judge in Baton Rouge, La., issued a temporary restraining order Sunday night, blocking the enforcement of a Louisiana abortion law just hours before it was to take effect. The law, passed overwhelmingly this year by the state legislature, requires all abortion doctors in the state to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic where they work. If doctors at clinics don't comply, the clinic can be closed. In his order, U.S. District Judge John deGravelles allowed the law to technically be enacted Monday but blocked for the time being any punishments or penalties for abortion clinics and their doctors (McWhirter, 8/31).

Politico: Louisiana Abortion Law Temporarily Blocked
A federal judge has temporarily blocked a Louisiana law that would have required abortion providers to secure admitting privileges at a local hospital. The law, signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal in June, would have gone into effect today. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which brought the case on behalf of Louisiana health care providers, argued that they were not given enough time to obtain admitting privileges (Villacorta, 9/1).

The Associated Press: US Judge Blocks Enforcement Of New LA Abortion Law
A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Louisiana's restrictive new abortion law. But lawyers disagree about whether his order covers doctors at all five of the state's clinics or only two doctors and three clinics. District Judge John deGravelles says the law can still take effect Monday. But he says officials cannot penalize the doctors and clinics that sued for breaking it until after a hearing on a broader pretrial order (McConnaughey, 8/31).

The Associated Press: Louisiana Following Judge's Order On Abortion Law
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday. U.S. District Judge John deGravelles issued a temporary restraining order late Sunday that blocked enforcement of the new law that took effect Monday (Deslatte, 9/1).

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