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A federal appeals court reinstated most of Texas' tough new restrictions on abortions Thursday in a ruling that means as many as a dozen clinics around the state will not be able to continue performing procedures.

The restrictions could take effect Friday, stopping abortion procedures in at least one-third of the state's licensed health centers, according to opponents of the law.

The ruling from a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals came just three days after a federal district judge set aside part of the law, a requirement that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. That ruling by Judge Lee Yeakel said the provision served no medical purpose.

The ruling came on an emergency appeal by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, to the conservative 5th Circuit, arguing that the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges is a constitutional use of the Legislature's authority.

Abortion rights advocates condemned the latest ruling and said the law, passed with great controversy by the Texas Legislature, is unconstitutional and a threat to the health of women.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which brought the lawsuit on behalf of health providers in the state, vowed to try to overturn the latest ruling.

"This fight is far from over,'' she said. "This restriction clearly violates Texas women's constitutional rights by drastically reducing access to safe and legal abortion statewide. ... We will take every step we can to protect the health of Texas women in the wake of this ruling."

The appeals panel said the law requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital can take effect while a lawsuit moves forward.

Planned Parenthood said that as a result of the latest decision, "abortion will no longer be available in vast stretches of Texas, including areas surrounding Fort Worth, Harlingen, Killeen, McAllen and Waco.''

The panel left in place a portion of Yeakel's order that prevents the state from enforcing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocol for abortion-inducing drugs in cases where the woman is between 50 and 63 days into her pregnancy. Doctors testifying before the court had said such women would be harmed if the protocol were enforced.

The court's order is temporary until it can hold a complete hearing, likely in January.

The restrictions are among the toughest in the nation and gained national attention when Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis launched a 13-hour filibuster against them in June. The law also bans abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy and beginning in October 2014 requires doctors to perform all abortions in surgical facilities.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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