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Abilene representative votes for controversial abortion bill

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Jul 10 2013 07:32:01 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 10 2013 07:52:10 PM CDT
AUSTIN, Texas -

The House of Representatives passed House Bill 2, which will place stricter regulations on abortions in the state, in a final vote Wednesday.

If the bill passes it would mean Texas would have some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country.

HB2 would require abortion facilities to be in an ambulatory surgical center, place more oversight on the abortion pill, require physicians that perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic and place a 20-week limit to terminate a pregnancy.

Texas lawmakers made their way through a 10-hour heated debate of the bill before voting to pass it during a preliminary vote Tuesday.

Texas representatives opposed to HB2 took their best shot at amending the bill before the vote.

State Rep Susan King, (R) District 71, voted in favor of the bill, but not without some reservations.

"I am a mother, I am a grandmother I am a nurse, I own a surgery center, my husband is a physician I am as pro-life as I can be, but I’m not sure that some parts of this bill were the best decision," said King.

Those in favor of the bill said it is meant to make abortion clinics safer for women who go there.

"What we are talking about today truly does deal with the health and the safety of a woman who would undergo an abortion," said the bill’s author, State Rep. Jodie Laubenberg (R), District 89.

Opponents said it will force most clinics in Texas that offer abortions to close.

Hundreds of people flooded the capitol building to make their voices heard and as things heated up on the house floor, protestors outside started to get loud too. 

During the debate, every time someone offered an amendment to HB2, and that happened more than 25 times, the majority of lawmakers voted to table it.

A senate committee will consider the bill Thursday. The full senate is expected to vote on it next week. That’s where it died in the first special session after a filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis.