Judge finds Texas abortion rules unconstitutional

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Tough new Texas abortion restrictions are on hold after a judge found Republican-led efforts to hold abortion clinics to hospital-level operating standards unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled Friday that Texas has reached a "tipping point" with new laws that he called state-imposed obstacles to a woman's constitutional right to an abortion.

His decision throws out requirements that threatened to effectively close more than a dozen clinics.

Court records show the Attorney General's office has filed an appeal of the ruling.

Republican Gov. Rick Perry signed the law in 2013. He and other conservatives say the requirements are necessary to protect women's health.

The new rules had been set to take effect Monday.

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