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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Texas Abortion Law Can Go Into Effect Immediately

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas—A federal appeals court cleared the way Friday for the immediate enforcement of a new abortion law in Texas requiring doctors to conduct a sonogram before the procedure.

The three-judge panel on Tuesday lifted a temporary stay issued by a district court judge who found the new law potentially unconstitutional, but didn't issued a legal mandate. On Friday, the judges agreed to a request by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to cut short the typical three-week waiting period between a ruling and its implementation.

The new law requires doctors to conduct a sonogram before performing an abortion, to show the woman the image, to play the fetal heartbeat aloud and describe the features of the fetus at least 24 hours before the abortion. There are exceptions in the case of rape, incest, fetal deformities and for women who have to travel great distances to reach a doctor.

The most recent order doesn't give time for doctors fighting the law to appeal the decision, which under normal circumstances woudn't have gone into effect until Jan. 31. The Center for Reproductive Rights, which supports the doctors, didn't have an immediate reaction to Friday's order.

The entire story is here.