AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Women in South Texas facing a 200-mile drive for access to legal abortions learned Wednesday that a local clinic shuttered by a sweeping anti-abortion law would reopen, marking the first tangible effect of a court ruling last week that blocked key parts of the state law.<br />
Whole Woman's Health clinic in McAllen, a city near the Mexico border, closed in March after its doctors said they couldn't obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals as the state now requires. But a federal judge ruled Friday that the law created unconstitutional barriers to abortions in South Texas, and the clinic is now set to reopen later this week, chief executive Amy Hagstrom Miller said.<br />
Questions are now also being raised whether the ruling had other broader ramifications than first thought.<br />
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel made two key rulings in Friday's 21-page decision. He struck down a mandate that required all abortion clinics in Texas to adopt costly hospital-level operating standards, and exempted clinics in McAllen and El Paso from an already upheld requirement that doctors who perform abortions obtain admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.<br />
A four-day trial last month narrowly focused on the El Paso and McAllen areas because clinics there serve regions where access to abortions would otherwise be particularly difficult. But language Yeakel included in a separate final judgment has left some questioning whether his order - inadvertently or not - banned the admitting-privileges law at all Texas abortion clinics.<br />
State health officials say they're playing it safe pending guidance from a federal appeals court.<br />
"We would have definitely cited those as violations," Department of State Health Services spokeswoman Carrie Williams said of clinics that would have been in violation of the admitting-privileges law prior to Friday's ruling. "Now we're going to need to parse that out on a case-by-case basis."<br />
Texas currently has 19 abortion providers - already down from more than 40 just two years ago, according to groups that sued the state for the second time over the law known as HB2. Only seven would have remained in business had Yeakel sided with the state.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
House Republican leaders rallied around one of their own, Whip Steve Scalise, on Tuesday after he said he regrets speaking 12 years ago to a white supremacist organization and condemns the views of such groups.
President Vladimir Putin's chief political foe was convicted along with his brother on Tuesday in a fraud case widely seen as a vendetta by the Kremlin, triggering one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for more than $1.8 billion in emergency funding to fight the Zika virus and the mosquitoes that spread it here and abroad, but says "there s...
A weeklong search for a Missouri couple wanted in a series of robberies and abductions across the South ended with one suspect dead and the other wounded Friday, after authorities say they chased the pair across the highway and through a rural neighborhood and exchanged gunfire with them in Florida's Panhandle.
Cheap oil will be sticking around for a while.That reality is wreaking havoc and causing uncertainty for some governments and businesses, while creating financial windfalls for others. Less expensive...
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz swept to victory in Iowa's Republican caucuses Monday, overcoming billionaire Donald Trump and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders were deadlocked in a tight race.
On the eve of the first contest on the 2016 presidential election calendar, some voters are pushing for bolder, more uncompromising action, with an intensity that has shaken both the Republican and Democratic establishments.