Texas House passes abortion bill; Senate next stop

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 10, 2013 at 2:08 pm •  Published: July 10, 2013
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"If we don't adopt this amendment, then we are saying that we don't care about the children of Texas," she said.

But the bill's author Rep. Jody Laubenberg, R-Parker, said she opposed all amendments to her bill. She said the Legislature had appropriated enough money for foster children.

"I am proud of the step we've taken to protect both babies and women. I think it speaks volumes about who we are as humanity," Laubenberg said.

Planned Parenthood took their Stand With Texas Women campaign on the road Tuesday, rallying more than 1,100 supporters in downtown Houston to oppose the measure. The bus tour was expected in Dallas on Wednesday, with a speech by Fort Worth Sen. Wendy Davis, a rising Democratic star following her filibuster against the bill in the first special session last month.

No other issue in Texas has rallied Democratic voters, young activists and women's right supporters in recent years like the abortion measure. The Texas Democratic Party has helped organize rallies opposing the bill and used them to register new voters.

Perry has made it a personal goal to end abortions in Texas, and voting for anti-abortion measures is a litmus test for Republican politicians. Conservative Christian groups keep scorecards on lawmaker's voting records.

They also say the Texas restrictions and those passed by other states conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which established that a woman has the right to get an abortion until her fetus could viably survive outside of the womb, which is generally at 22 to 24 weeks of the pregnancy.

It's unclear if the Texas restrictions could survive a court challenge. Federal courts have suspended aspects of the bill enacted by other states. On Monday, a federal judge blocked enforcement of a Wisconsin abortion law requiring admitting privileges.

The Texas Medical Association, the Texas Hospital Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology oppose the bill, calling it unnecessary.

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Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/cltomlinson