Texas Senate begins committee hearing on abortion bill

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AUSTIN, TX – It’s going to be a long night in Austin as Texas senators hear statements from hundreds of witnesses on both sides of abortion rights.

The Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee began its hearing at ten o’clock this morning, with about 2,000 people signed up to speak, each of them allotted two minutes.

Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 2 ban abortions after 20 weeks, require abortion facilities to meet the minimum standards of outpatient surgical centers, and require abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at hospitals within thirty miles of their clinics.

Those provisions would have a major impact on the rural areas that make up a large part of Texas.

Democrats Judith Zaffirini of Laredo, Carlos Uresti of San Antonio, and Royce West of Dallas failed to get Katy Republican Glenn Hegar to amend his bill to include pre-existing psychological conditions for the mother, exemptions for rape and incest, and removal of the requirement for hospital admitting privileges.

The full House will take up its bill Tuesday. It passed committee on a straight party-line vote.

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