Texas Appeals Abortion Restrictions

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - An appeals court is allowing Texas to enforce parts of a tough new law that would close all but seven of the state's abortion facilities.

A panel of the New Orleans-based U.S. 5th Circuit Court ruled Thursday that Texas can immediately enforce a rule making abortion clinics statewide spend millions of dollars on hospital-level upgrades.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel ruled in August that requiring such upgrades was less about safety than making access to abortion difficult.

Yeakel's ruling in Austin suspended the upgrades requirement that had been set to take effect Sept. 1.

But Texas is appealing, and had asked the appeals court panel to let it enforce the rules during that process.

They were part of a sweeping 2013 anti-abortion law that conservatives say protects women's health.