Federal Judge Blocks Alabama Abortion Restrictions

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A federal judge is temporarily blocking the enforcement of a law restricting abortion doctors in Alabama.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled Monday that state lawmakers exceeded their authority when they passed a law last year requiring doctors at abortion clinics to have hospital admitting privileges.

The law would force all but two of Alabama's five abortion clinics to shut down. Alabama's Attorney General disagrees with the decision and plans to appeal it.

Thompson's ruling comes a day after a federal appeals court blocked a similar law in Mississippi.

In Texas, attorneys for the state's abortion clinics are also appealing one of the nation's toughest anti-abortion laws.

It requires clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. If it's upheld, nearly three-quarters of Texas' abortion facilities would be forced to close by the end of August.

Abortion providers say they don't have the money to upgrade their facilities or build new ones that meet the more rigid medical requirements of surgical centers. But supporters of the law say the new rules are necessary to keep women safe.

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