AUSTIN (July 11, 2013)--A Texas Senate committee pushed through new abortion restrictions Thursday, setting up a Senate vote that’s expected before the weekend.
With a Republican majority set to pass the bill, a top Democrat said his party’s options at the Capitol have run out.
State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, said abortion rights activists will instead ask the courts to intervene once the new restrictions become law.
The measure died in the waning hours of a first special session because of a filibuster and outbursts from the Senate gallery on June. 25.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said security personnel will clear the gallery at the first sign of any outburst this time around.
He called the committee vote a victory for improving women’s health care and also for the unborn.
“For the life of me, I can’t understand why people would object to not making for safer conditions when women have abortions,” he said.
The bill would require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, would abortions only in surgical centers, and would ban abortions after 20 weeks.
Opponents say the measure would limit access to legal abortions in Texas and could endanger the lives of women when problems develop after the 20th week of pregnancy.