The bill that would restrict abortions after 20 weeks and require abortion facilities to have more requirements for safety passed the Texas Senate last night (NBC).
Texas legislators overturned a temporary victory by state Democrats and standard bearer Sen. Wendy Davis, passing a bill late Friday that puts new restrictions on abortion procedures.
The bill passed the Republican-controlled Senate just before midnight, two weeks after the Legislature failed to put the restrictions to a successful vote in its first special session. The bill would ban most abortions past 20 weeks of pregnancy, place new requirements on which facilities could perform the procedures and limit a woman’s ability to induce an abortion by taking a pill.
Abortion rights advocates, including Planned Parenthood of Texas, have said that the new law would effectively shut down all but six of the facilities where abortions are performed in the state.
Pro- and anti-abortion activists flooded the Texas Capitol on Friday afternoon, setting the stage for a dramatic ideological showdown. Abortion rights advocates wearing orange were holding gynecological devices and signs, while anti-abortion advocates dressed in blue carried images of fetuses and Bible verses, according to The Associated Press.
Twenty-one amendments were offered, debated and rejected. As debate progressed, reporters inside the chamber said protesters could be heard chanting outside, and some protesters who were in the gallery were removed after outbursts.One Democrat who sponsored the bill, Sen. Eddie Lucio from my old stomping ground of Harlingen, gave one of the most passioned speeches in favor of the bill.