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12 Texas abortion clinics closed as appeals court upholds new law

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At least 12 abortion clinics in Texas will have to quit performing the procedure this Friday, the result of an appeals court ruling that determined most of the state's newly legislated restrictions can in fact go into effect right away.

"This fight is far from over," said Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, of the ruling, The Associated Press reported. "This restriction clearly violates Texas women's constitutional rights by drastically reducing access to safe and legal abortion statewide."

The law bans abortions after 20 weeks, requires that all medical providers who perform the procedure do so at a licensed surgical facility — rather than an office clinic — and requires that doctors who do abortions also have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Only about 15 of 32 hospitals in the state have accepted doctors to perform the procedure; some with religious affiliations have turned down the requests, AP reported.

Other applications have been put on hold, pending checks to see if doctors meet the residential requirements. Some mandate physicians live within a certain radius, for example.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans' decision is only temporary. A complete hearing on the matter will likely go forward in January, AP said. But in the meantime, a dozen abortion providers will have to stop performing the procedure, given their inability to comply with the portions of the law the appeals court ruled could take effect immediately.

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