Abbott signs ‘judicial bypass’ abortion restrictions

abortion procedure room
Whole Woman's Health North Austin location from 2013 (KXAN file photo)

AUSTIN (AP) — Gov. Greg Abbott has signed into law tighter rules for Texas teenagers who wish to undergo abortions but can’t get the required parental consent because of extreme circumstances.

Abbott endorsed the law with little fanfare Friday but scheduled a July 8 ceremony to tout the signing.

Texas’ “judicial bypass” system allows teens judge-ordered abortions if seeking parental consent could have unwanted consequences, including physical abuse.

Advocates say the process already worked well. But, since Texas has some of America’s toughest abortion restrictions, limiting judicial bypass was one of the few victories left on the issue for the Republican-controlled Legislature to claim.

A strict 2013 law means just 19 abortion clinics now operate statewide. A federal court ruling this week will see that number fall to eight after July 1.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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