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Texas abortion restrictions allowed to proceed, court rules

The enforcement of Texas abortion restrictions passed in 2013 were allowed to go into effect after an appeals court Thursday blocked a lower court ruling that partially invalidated them. 

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Reports indicated the ruling by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals would force a number of abortion clinics in the state to immediately close, leaving only a handful of clinics open near metropolitan areas. 

Thursday's case focused on a portion of the Texas law that requires all abortion clinics to comply with "the same minimum standards required of ambulatory surgical centers," which in other words requires clinics to maintain physical building and operating standards that mirror hospitals. 

A lower court judge in August ruled that the restrictions created an "impermissible obstacle" for women seeking abortion. 

However, the Fifth Circuit ruling on Thursday said the state had a good chance of winning on appeal. The court stayed the lower court order until the case could be fully appealed. The appeals court has previously upheld another portion of the law.