by Paul Weber
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Abortion providers in Texas want a federal judge to stop a new law that they say will leave just eight facilities statewide where women can legally terminate a pregnancy after Sept. 1.
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel is to decide whether Texas can implement one of the most disputed provisions of a sweeping anti-abortion law that the Republican-controlled Legislature passed in 2013. The weeklong trial began Monday in Austin.
The law requires all abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. A coalition of abortion providers say 18 abortion clinics in Texas will close at the end of the month if the law takes effect.
Most affected would be women along the Texas-Mexico border, where the closest U.S. abortion provider would be a four-hour drive.