AUSTIN (KEYETV) - State lawmakers have given preliminary approval to some of the strictest abortion regulations in the country as time runs out on the Texas special legislative session.
Democrats were supported by hundreds of vocal demonstrators as they stalled the legislation for 15 hours. Republicans voted to end debate and vote early around 3:30 this morning and approved the second of three required readings.
If passed, Senate Bill 5 would ban abortion at 20 weeks, require abortion doctors have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, limit abortions to surgical centers and require doctors administering abortion-inducing drugs to do so in person instead of just ordering it done. Supporters argue the bill will improve women's health care, but opponents charge the bill will shut down 37 of 42 abortion clinics in the state.
The measure requires three separate votes. With two down, lawmakers adjourned and set 6:46am as the time reconvene to take a final vote on the abortion restrictions. By Fred Cantu