Abortion-rights groups challenge restrictions on providers

As abortion opponents cheer the passage of fetal heartbeat laws and other bans on the procedure, abortion-rights groups have been waging a quieter battle in courthouses around the country to overturn less direct restrictions passed in recent years.

At least a dozen lawsuits have been filed to challenge what abortion-rights groups call TRAP laws, for Targeted Restrictions on Abortion Providers. The first lawsuit to go to trial is set to begin Monday in in Richmond, Virginia.

The wave of court cases challenging the laws has been fueled largely by a 2016 Supreme Court ruling. That decision struck down a Texas law requiring doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. It forced clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers.