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      Federal judge halts key part of Texas abortion law

      A federal judge has thrown out new abortion restrictions that would have banned the procedure at most Texas facilities where women can legally end a pregnancy.

      U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel on Friday sided with abortion clinics that challenged one of the most disputed measures of a sweeping anti-abortion bill signed by Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry in 2013.

      The law would have required the clinics to meet hospital-level operating standards by Sept. 1. That would have left seven places for women to get an abortion in Texas, down from the 19 facilities that abortion-rights groups say are currently available.

      The lawsuit was the latest challenge to tough new anti-abortion laws sweeping across the U.S.

      The state is expected to appeal.

      AP-WF-08-29-14 2155GMT

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