Texas asks appeals court to restore law banning most abortions

© Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Texas asked an appeals court on Friday to reinstate a near-total ban on abortions in the state after a federal judge this week temporarily blocked the law.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton asked the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to issue an emergency stay by Tuesday morning of U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman's preliminary injunction blocking the law.

Pitman, in a ruling late on Wednesday, put on hold the law, which prohibits women from obtaining an abortion after about six weeks of pregnancy.

The case is part of a fierce legal battle over abortion access in the United States, with numerous states pursuing restrictions.

The U.S. Justice Department sued Texas on Sept. 9 and sought the temporary injunction against the law, arguing the measure violates the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court let the law take effect on Sept. 1 in a 5-4 vote.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)