By PAUL J. WEBER
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal appeals court has dealt opponents of Texas’ strict abortion law another defeat. The ruling Monday by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans raises concerns by opponents that the state’s near-total ban on abortions will remain intact for the foreseeable future. The Texas law bans abortion once cardiac activity is detected. That’s usually around six weeks and before some women know they are pregnant. The latest ruling sends a narrow challenge to the law to the Texas Supreme Court, which is entirely controlled by Republicans. There’s no timetable for when the court might take up the case.