A federal appeals court has cleared the way for the immediate enforcement of a new Texas abortion law while opponents challenge the measure in district court

The new law requires doctors to conduct a sonogram before the procedure, show the image to the woman, play the fetal heartbeat aloud and describe the features of the fetus.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had asked the three-judge panel to cut short the typical three-week waiting period between when the court issues a ruling and implementing it. A district court judge will next week hear arguments on the constitutionality of the requirement.

Friday's order clears the way for the Texas Department of State Health Services to issue rules for complying with the law and to prosecute doctors who do not obey it.