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Government/Politics

Senate Drops Several Key Abortion Bills In Order To Pass One During Special Session

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Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, the author of the 20-week fetal pain abortion bill, withdrew his own bill in order for lawmakers to pass something related to abortion during the special session.

Hegar said he abandoned his bill because of poor of timing.

"What can we pass out of this chamber, out of House and ultimately make it to the governor’s desk that one, raises the standard of care, number two, protects life and makes a significant advancement in dealing with the last seven days of this legislative session," Hegar said.

Hegar said lawmakers have other pressing matters such as transportation funding and redistricting to wrap up before the midnight deadline, but that reasoning didn’t sit well with Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston.

"Why wouldn’t it be fair for me -- in all due respect to you as a colleague -- but why wouldn’t it be fair for me to say you’ve compromised your position on the pro-life position for political expediency?" Whitmire said.

Other Senate Democrats like Fort Worth Sen. Wendy Davis argued a similar point saying that Hegar's moved to pass some type of abortion measure was about future political primaries. 

Of the 38 abortion clinics in Texas, five are currently are set up with surgical ambulatory services. Many fear the cost of adding these requirements will close several abortion clinics through out the state.  

The bill containing the abortion measures will require three things:

  • Abortion clinics must have surgical ambulatory services
  • Clinics must be within 30 miles of an admitting hospital
  • Doctors must perform a physical and follow-up visit for anyone being prescribed the abortion drug RU-486