Judge finds Texas abortion rules unconstitutional

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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.

The state has vowed to appeal. 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.

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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