- Associated Press - Thursday, August 7, 2014

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A federal judge that will decide whether to block a Texas law that would end abortions at 18 clinics in Texas has pushed closing arguments to next week.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Thursday heard the final witnesses in a four-day trial in Austin. The lawsuit was brought by abortion providers challenging a new law that would require their clinics to meet hospital-style operating standards by Sept. 1.

If the law takes effect, the number of places in Texas where women could legally terminate a pregnancy would drop to seven.

The Republican-controlled Legislature passed the law last year. Attorneys for the state argued that meeting the new requirements isn’t as expensive or difficult as opponents claim.

Closing arguments are set for Wednesday in Austin. An immediate ruling isn’t expected.

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