Contentious Abortion Bill Clears Texas House
GOP dissenter blasts it as 'de facto ban on abortion;' expected to pass Senate
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2013 7:49 AM CDT
Updated Jul 10, 2013 8:00 AM CDT
Republican Rep. Jason Villalba holds a sonogram showing his unborn son during final remarks before a final vote on the abortion bill.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

(Newser) – Despite the best efforts of Wendy Davis, the Texas abortion bill is back. The Texas House has finally (this was the third attempt this year) approved new abortion restrictions, including a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, restricting the procedure to surgical centers, and requiring doctors performing abortions to have hospital-admitting privileges, the AP reports. Proponents say the new measures will keep women safe, but opponents say the real outcome of the bill will be the closure of the majority of the state's abortion clinics—only five of Texas' 36 licensed clinics are expected to be able to afford the upgrades required to pass as a "surgical center," the El Paso Times reports.

The vote came after 10 hours of heated debate, as demonstrators from both sides descended on the Texas Capitol building. Supporters brought in baby shoes, while opponents carried coat hangers—a symbol of "back alley" abortions, the New York Times reports. Ultimately, the vote passed easily: 98 to 49 with only one Republican, Sarah Davis, opposing the new law, which she labeled unconstitutional. "I believe the bill as drafted will be a de facto ban on abortion," she said. "No one wants to see abortions, it's a terrible way to end a pregnancy, but it is a constitutionally protected right." A formal vote on the bill will be held today, then it will move on to the Republican-controlled Senate, where it's expected to pass, the AP reports.

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Jul 11, 2013 9:37 PM CDT
There are some self-centered, self-gratifying and very selfish men making comments on this topic. It always makes me wonder how guys like that ever attract a woman in the first place. In the case of one individual, it looks like his selfishness bought him so much loneliness, he now wants to blame women for the rest of his life. The other just wants to get laid, and if an 'accident happens' she can pay for half the abortion. How gallant!
Jul 11, 2013 5:10 AM CDT
How many dead women do you think they will achieve in the next 6 months? Secede already. We will keep the women and you can have all the dumb angry white men that yell at their televisions.
Jul 10, 2013 9:39 PM CDT
Yeah, well the courts just put a hold on a similar Wisconsin law, because they think it's unconstitutional. If all these GOP guys are so anti-abortion, they don't have to have one. They should make birth control and sex ed more accessible to cut down the number of unwanted pregnancies. Abortion is a terrible thing. Everything should be done to make it unnecessary in the first place.