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OPINION

US judge says he can't block Texas sonogram law

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AUSTIN, Texas – A federal judge on Monday upheld the Texas law requiring women to have a sonogram before having an abortion, saying an appeals court had forced him to declare the law constitutional.

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District Judge Sam Sparks had previously struck down parts of the law, but his latest ruling said he's bound to follow the direction of the New Orleans-based appeals court.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Health Services said the ruling clears the way for full-enforcement of the law, which was supposed to take effect Oct. 1 but has ping-ponged through the federal courts in legal challenges.

The agency posted guidance letters and information for doctors and patients on its website Monday. Spokeswoman Carrie Williams said officials would be checking to make sure abortion providers were following procedures during facility inspections.

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