Stillwater News Press

Our World

July 13, 2013

Texas Senate passes abortion restrictions

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Senate passed sweeping new abortion restrictions late Friday, sending them to Republican Gov. Rick Perry to sign into law after weeks of protests and rallies that drew thousands of people to the Capitol and made the state the focus of the national abortion debate.

Republicans used their large majority in the Texas Legislature to pass the bill nearly three weeks after a filibuster by Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis and an outburst by abortion-rights activists in the Senate gallery disrupted a deadline vote June 25.

Called back for a new special session by Perry, lawmakers took up the bill again as thousands of supporters and opponents held rallies and jammed the Capitol to testify at public hearings. As the Senate took its final vote, protesters in the hallway outside the chamber chanted, "Shame! Shame! Shame!"

Democrats have called the GOP proposal unnecessary and unconstitutional. Republicans said the measure was about protecting women and unborn children.

House Bill 2 would require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, allow abortions only in surgical centers, limit where and when women may take abortion-inducing pills and ban abortions after 20 weeks.

Abortion-rights supporters say the bill will close all but five abortion clinics in Texas, leaving large areas of the vast state without abortion services. Only five out of 42 existing abortion clinics meet the requirements to be a surgical center, and clinic owners say they can't afford to upgrade or relocate.

The circus-like atmosphere in the Texas Capitol marked the culmination of weeks of protests, the most dramatic of which came June 25 in the final minutes of the last special legislative session, Davis' filibuster and subsequent protest prevented the bill from becoming law.

The Senate's debate took place between a packed gallery of demonstrators, with anti-abortion activists wearing blue and abortion-rights supporters wearing orange. Security was tight, and state troopers reported confiscating bottles of urine and feces as they worked to prevent another attempt to stop the Republican majority from passing the proposal.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Our World
Must Read
Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Stocks
NDN Video
Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad Jimmy Kimmel Introduces His Baby Girl Swim Daily, Nina Agdal in the Cook Islands Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Prince George Turns 1 and is Already a Trendsetter Train Collides With Semi Truck Carrying Lighter Fluid Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open