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Alabama lawmakers send new abortion restriction bills to governor

By Verna Gates BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - Alabama measures to extend an abortion waiting period and tighten rules for minors seeking the procedure are headed to the governor's desk, but a move to ban abortions based on evidence of a fetal heartbeat appears stalled in the legislative session that ends on Thursday.

Judge sets trial date on Alabama abortion law, extends injunction

By Verna Gates BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday set a May 19 trial date to determine whether a new Alabama law requiring doctors who perform abortions to obtain hospital admitting privileges poses a significant impediment for women seeking an abortion. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson scheduled a non-jury trial to examine if the law, which was passed last year by the Alabama Legislature, violates the constitutional rights of women who want an abortion.

Legal challenge to Alabama abortion law will go to trial, judge rules

By Verna Gates BIRMINGHAM, Alabama (Reuters) - A federal judge on Monday ordered a trial to determine whether a new Alabama law requiring doctors who perform abortions to obtain hospital admitting privileges poses a significant impediment for women seeking an abortion. Since abortion clinics typically use traveling physicians, the law could cause the closure of three of Alabama's five facilities, a potential constitutional violation, abortion supporters have argued in court.

Louisiana House passes abortion restriction bill

By Kathy Finn NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - The Louisiana House of Representatives on Monday approved a bill to impose new restrictions on abortion clinics, adopting a measure similar to one in other states that have forced clinics to shut down. Without discussion, the House voted 85-6 to approve the bill, which requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at an adequately equipped hospital within 30 miles of the place where the abortion is performed.

U.S. appeals court upholds restrictive Texas abortion law

By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Thursday upheld a Texas law that places restrictions on abortions, saying a provision requiring abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital was a reasonable regulation. Those opposed to the law have said it is a veiled attempt to limit abortions by imposing costly and unnecessary regulations, adding that the law may be copied by other states trying to limit abortions within their borders.

Kansas can pull Planned Parenthood funding - appeals court

(Reuters) - A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday upheld a 2011 Kansas law that would stop federal family planning money the state receives from flowing to two Planned Parenthood clinics. The ruling overturned a Kansas federal judge's preliminary injunction that stopped the state from eliminating the federal funding to family planning clinics Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri operates in Wichita and Hays.

Anti-abortion activist loses appeal over Ohio home raid

By Jonathan Stempel (Reuters) - A federal appeals court refused to hold members of the U.S. Marshals Service liable for raiding the home of an anti-abortion activist to enforce a money judgment favoring Planned Parenthood, but strongly criticized their tactics, saying they appeared aimed at stifling the activist's "repugnant" ideas.

Arizona advances bill for surprise inspections of abortion clinics

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona lawmakers advanced a Republican-backed measure on Tuesday that would allow unannounced inspections of licensed abortion clinics in a state that has taken some of the country's toughest stances on abortion.

Oklahoma House passes new abortion restrictions bill

By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - The Oklahoma House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a bill on Thursday to apply new restrictions on abortions that lawmakers said are aimed at protecting women's health but opponents say are designed to shut down clinics. The legislation includes a provision similar to one put in place in neighboring Texas that requires physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at an appropriately equipped hospital within 30 miles of their practice.

North Carolina ultrasound abortion law ruled illegal by judge

By David Adams (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday struck down a 2011 North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to perform an ultrasound and explain it to a woman before having an abortion, arguing it violated the constitutional right to free speech of doctors. U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles found that a state does not have "the power to compel a health care provider to speak, in his or her own voice, the state's ideological message in favor of carrying a pregnancy to term."
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