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Government/Politics

Abortion And Juvenile Capital Punishment Added To Special Session

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Office of the Governor
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Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, has one of about six bills that address some aspect of abortion in the special session. Patrick said his bill would hold institutions like Planned Parenthood to strict guidelines when dispensing the Plan B abortion pill the abortion pill (mifeprestone), a set of pills that medically ends a pregnancy and can be used up to 9 weeks after the woman's last period.

"So our bill is very straightforward, it just says that abortion clinics--if they are giving this set of pills, because it’s not one pill it’s a set of pills--they must follow the recommendation," Patrick said.

Patrick said he has information that abortion clinics are reinterpreting the dosing instruction of the drug, giving one half of the dosage to women seeking services. 

A 'fetal pain' bill that would ban abortions at 20 weeks is also up for debate in the special session. Gov. Rick Perry and other Tea Party conservatives have been pushing for the 20-week ban, when they say studies have found a fetus can first feel pain.

"Based on the technology that we have these days, we are learning a lot more and that is what I’m focusing on," said Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Murphy, who authored the bill.

Other abortion bills included in the special session agenda include a bill by Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, which mandates abortion clinics have the same emergency services as that of an emergency room or urgent care clinic.

The governor has also added a set of juvenile justice bills to the special session agenda, one of which would allow anyone under the age of 18 convicted of capital murder to be given the death penalty.

Debate on the abortion-related bills begins this Thursday, June 13.