Abortion back on Texas Legislature's agenda

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 21, 2013 at 10:16 am •  Published: January 21, 2013
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The measure is just one of Texas Right to Life's priorities for the 83rd Legislature. They also want to take away a judge's authority to allow teenage girls, under certain circumstances, to have an abortion without their parent's permission. They also want a ban on abortion coverage in insurance plans offered under the Affordable Care Act.

"Until our elected servants recognize that their first duty is to protect the life of each conceived human being, Texas Right to Life will not stop pushing for new Pro-Life laws," the group said.

Ardent ant-abortion activist Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, has introduced a bill that would make it more difficult for doctors to prescribe medications that induce abortions by adding a number of new requirements. The doctor must have a contract with another physician who promises to treat any emergencies arising from the drug, must designate a hospital where the emergency would be treated and the emergency physician must have admitting, gynecological, and surgical privileges at the hospital.

These requirements, among others in the bill, make it more difficult for doctors to prescribe these medications, particularly in rural areas. Advocates argue the law would protect women however critics point out that medically-induced abortions rarely result in complications and the law is designed only to make abortions more difficult to obtain.

Rep. Allen Fletcher, R-Houston, has introduced a bill that would prohibit doctors from performing abortions based on the gender of the child. The practice has been common in China, where parents are restricted from having more than one child, but public health reports give no indication it's a problem in Texas.

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On the Internet:

Senate Bill 97 on abortion inducing medications: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=SB97

House Bill 309 on prohibiting abortions based on gender: http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=83R&Bill=HB309

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