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Updated: Sun, 31 Aug 2014 21:57:10 GMT | By The Associated Press, cbc.ca

Louisiana’s new restrictive abortion law won't be enforced yet, judge rules



Abortion rights supporters take a stand outside the governor�s mansion Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, after a federal judge in Austin struck down two provisions of the 2013 Texas law that restricts abortions. (© AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez)

Abortion rights supporters take a stand outside the governor�s mansion Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, after a federal judge in Austin struck down two provisions of the 2013 Texas law that restricts abortions. (AP Photo/Austin American-Statesman, Rodolfo Gonzalez) Rodolfo Gonzalez/Associated Press

A federal judge has temporarily blocked enforcement of Louisiana's restrictive new abortion law.

District Judge John deGravelles says the law can still take effect Monday, but officials cannot penalize doctors or clinics for breaking it while a challenge is heard.

The law would require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges to a hospital within about 48 kilometres of their clinics. A Centre for Reproductive Rights lawsuit claims doctors haven't had enough time to obtain privileges and the law likely would force Louisiana's five abortion clinics to close.

DeGravelles says the doctors' risk of fines and losing licenses outweighs any injury to the state from keeping the status quo. He noted the state health secretary says she won't enforce the law against doctors who've applied to hospitals but have no decision.

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