AUSTIN, Texas, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Texas can enforce its new restrictive abortion law while it is appealed, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday as it overturned a lower court order.
The three-judge panel granted Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's request to lift an injunction that kept the state from enforcing a requirement that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic, The Dallas Morning News reported.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled Monday that the requirement was so onerous it would keep many women from having abortions.
The American Civil Liberties Union promised the legal fight against the Texas law will continue.
"The result of this ruling is not academic," said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. "Women in many parts of the state will lose access to care they count on because clinics will close. If the State of Texas cares about women's health and safety, as it claims, it should take steps to reduce the need for abortion rather than closing clinics in already underserved parts of the state."
The appeals court did not deal with another section of the law that Yeakel largely upheld involving the protocol for medically induced abortions.
Texas officials argue that the stricter abortion law protects the health of women seeking abortions.