News from around the state of Texas

Abortion Doctors Restrictions Take Root in South

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    From Alabama to Texas, laws are being enacted that require abortion clinic doctors to have formal ties to local hospitals by obtaining privileges to admit and treat patients there.

    The new laws could force some women to travel hundreds of miles to find an abortion clinic as some would be forced to close in places they are already scarce.

    Mississippi's lone abortion clinic would have to close, meaning women in some parts of the state would have to travel at least three hours to an out-of-state clinic.

    Admitting privileges laws already in effect in Texas and Tennessee. Laws in Mississippi and Alabama are on hold during court challenges. Louisiana and Oklahoma are about to enact their own laws, which would bring the total to 10 states in the nation.

    Here's a look at states that have laws requiring abortion clinic doctors to obtain privileges to admit patients to local hospitals in order to perform the procedures. Critics say the aim is to outlaw abortions. Supporters say they are protecting women's health.

    • Judges this year allowed the Texas law to take effect, and about one-third of the clinics there have closed -- 19 of 33.
    •  The only states with laws that are in effect and have not been challenged in court are Tennessee and Utah.
    • Judges have put laws on hold in Alabama, Mississippi, Kansas, North Dakota and Wisconsin. A federal trial over Alabama's law started May 19, and one over Wisconsin's law began Tuesday.
    •  Louisiana and Oklahoma are close to enacting laws.
    • An admitting-privileges bill stalled in South Carolina this year, and one has been filed in Pennsylvania