Texas Abortion Law Near Passing, Under Protest

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With Senate Bill 5 near to passing in Texas, hundreds of protestors packed the state capitol on Sunday, while Democrats scrambled to prevent Republicans from passing some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks and require they take place in surgical centers.

It would also place strict guidelines on where/when females can take abortion-inducing pills, while requiring physicians who perform the precedes to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

Texas protest

If the bill passes, all but five abortion clinics in Texas would likely close and be in need of significant upgrades.

Is the goal to protect women's health or make abortions nearly impossible to complete? That is the debate on the table.

As is the resistance of sponsor Jody Laubenberg to include amendment that make exceptions for rape or incest.

"The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development," Laubenberg said. "What I would like to do is raise the standard. You have clinics that are out there already at that standard of care and all I'm asking is that we raise the others to that level."

The Texas Medical Association, the Texas Hospital Association and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists disagree, however.

They have all written letters asking lawmakers to vote against the bill, emphasizing it would NOT raise the standard of care.

"Everything about the process related to these abortion regulation bills has smelled like partisan politics," said Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston.

"Proponents of the bill have failed to demonstrate any evidence that the regulations imposed by these bills are necessary. Nor have they expressed any sign of responsible governance in ensuring that women will continue to be able to access safe and legal abortion care."

This House session ends at midnight Tuesday and the abortion bill still needs to go back to the Senate for final approval.