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By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked a near-total ban on abortion in Texas - the toughest such law in the country - in a challenge brought by President Joe Biden's administration after the U.S. Supreme Court had allowed it to go into effect.

The action by U.S. District Judge Robert Pitman in Austin prevents the state from enforcing the Republican-backed law, which prohibits women from obtaining an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, while litigation over its legality continues. The case is part of a fierce legal battle over abortion access in the United States, with numerous state pursuing restrictions.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Will Dunham and Jonathan Oatis)

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