Controversial abortion bill passes Texas Senate
Sat, 13 Jul 2013 05:23:09 GMT —
Weeks of protests and counter-protests have ended with the Texas Senate passing sweeping new abortion restrictions late Friday night.
The controversial bill now moves to Republican Gov. Rick Perry to sign into law.
Protests and rallies that drew thousands of people to the Capitol and made the state the focus of the national abortion debate.
According to the Associated Press, Republicans used their large majority in the Texas Legislature to pass the bill.
It all happened 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.
Gov. Perry called a second special session to the Texas Legislature after the bill was defeated during the first special session.
According to the Associated Press, the bill requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.
The bill also allows abortions only in surgical centers and bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Abortion-rights supporters told the Associated Press that the bill will close all but five abortion clinics in Texas, leaving large areas of vast state without abortion services.
Although Gov. Perry is not seeking a fourth full term in office in 2014, has told the Associated Press that he plans to sign the bill in law.
It's not clear if pro-choice supporters will file an injunction or a lawsuit against the bill if it is signed into law.