Texas House Passes Strict Abortion Bill

The Texas House of Representatives voted early Monday to pass the state Senate’s strict omnibus abortion bill, the Dallas Morning News reported.

The House voted 97-33 in favor of the bill, which includes a provision banning abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, following more than 13 hours of debate on the floor. The bill would also force clinics to meet the standards of surgical centers, effectively shutting down all but five clinics across the state, according to Planned Parenthood estimates.

Hundreds of Texas residents flooded the state House last week to testify against the bill in a so-called “people’s filibuster.” Republicans in the House responded by scheduling further hearings at the last minute and in a small room where the audience was limited to 30 people.

“If this issue was so important, then it deserves the right — when people come from across this state when they sign up — for every one of them to be heard, to have their say, to stay all night and listen to everyone of our constituents from across the state,” said state Rep. Sylvester Turner (D), as quoted by the Morning News. “All of a sudden to make somebody else’s agenda, we’re doing everything we can to rush through this process.” 

The bill now returns to the state Senate for final approval.

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