A court in Texas has made a ruling that could dramatically cut the number of abortion clinics in the state.
The 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a law, approved in 2013, which requires abortion clinics to meet certain hospital-level standards.
The ruling said that the Texas legislation, expected to take effect on 1 July, was intended to protect women’s health.
In November, pro-life groups urged the federal appeals court to uphold the state law.
The legislation had been on hold since a district judge ruled last year that it was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court allowed abortion clinics to stay open while the legal case continued.
Before the law was approved in 2013, 41 abortion clinics were operating in the state – there are now 18. Following the latest ruling, a further eleven clinics are set to close as they do not meet hospital-level operating standards.