Federal judge declares Texas abortion restrictions unconstitutional

AUSTIN, TX (AP/KCBD) - A federal judge has ruled that new abortion restrictions passed by the Texas Legislature are unconstitutional and should not take effect as planned on Tuesday.

District Judge Lee Yeakel issued his decision Monday following a three-day trial over whether the state can restrict when, where and how women obtain abortions in Texas.

Lawyers for Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers argued that the regulations did not protect women and would shut down a third of the abortion clinics in Texas.

The Texas attorney general's office argued that the law protects women and the life of the fetus. State officials are expected to file an emergency appeal of Yeakel's order to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

The proposed restrictions were among the toughest in the nation.

KCBD spoke with Representative Charles Perry on Monday afternoon.

He tells us that he's disappointed, but not surprised. He says obviously the judge thought questions raised were worth postponing the law from taking effect, and he respects that decision.

Still, Perry calls the Texas plan the right laws for the right reasons, and says believes the fifth circuit court of appeals could rule more favorably.

Texas Representative John Frullo issued this statement about the ruling on Monday afternoon:

"Although this ruling is disappointing, it is the first step in a long and protracted process. We look forward to the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that the state's law is in fact constitutional."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.