Federal judge blocks Texas law banning common second-trimester abortion procedure

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A federal judge has blocked a new Texas law seeking to ban a commonly used second-trimester abortion method.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel extended indefinitely a temporary ban he'd previously issued. That overturns -- at least for now -- a state law that Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed in June banning the procedure known as dilation and evacuation.

Texas is set to appeal, but federal courts in at least four other states already had blocked similar laws.

Yeakel's ruling Wednesday followed a trial early this fall where he heard arguments from Texas and from abortion rights groups who argue that the law is unconstitutional.

It's the latest in a string of court defeats for the Texas Legislature's efforts to make abortion as difficult to undergo in the state as possible.

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