Texas GOP Approves Tough New Abortion Restrictions

Pro-choice rally at the University of Texas in 2004 (Jana Birchum/Getty Images News)
Pro-choice rally at the University of Texas in 2004 (Jana Birchum/Getty Images News)

The Associated Press is reporting that the Republican-dominated Texas Legislature on Monday pushed to enact wide-ranging restrictions that would effectively shutter all abortion clinics in the nation's second most-populous state. Democrats are planning to launch a filibuster to halt the final vote.

After the House easily approved it Monday morning, the wide-ranging package of anti-abortion measures was headed to the Senate. But with the special session scheduled to end at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, the clock presented a far bigger obstacle than the votes to win approval there.

Although Texas is just the latest of several conservative states to try to enact tough limits on abortions, the scope of its effort is notable both because of the combination of bills being considered and the size of the state. The proposal would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, limit abortions to surgical centers and stipulate doctors must monitor even non-surgical abortions …

"If this passes, abortion would be virtually banned in the state of Texas, and many women could be forced to resort to dangerous and unsafe measures," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and daughter of the late former Texas governor Ann Richards.

The only way Democrats could block a vote when it goes to the Senate is if one senator filibusters it by running out the clock on the special session. Under the rules, the senator would have to speak non-stop, remain standing, restrain from bathroom breaks or even lean on anything.

Read more at the Huffington Post.

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