Texas abortion bill headed to Senate after House votes

The Texas House gave final approval Wednesday to a restrictive abortion bill. Above, Republican Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, a sponsor of the measure, is shown leaving the House floor Tuesday night after the legislation won provisional approval.
(Eric Gay / Associated Press)

A restrictive abortion bill is heading to the floor of the Texas Senate after the state’s House of Representatives approved the legislation Wednesday on a 96-49 vote.

The Republican-dominated House voted mostly along party lines, a day after more than 10 hours of debate. Lawmakers rejected all proposed amendments to the bill.

House Bill 2 would ban abortion 20 weeks or longer after conception, require doctors performing the procedure to have hospital-admitting privileges within 30 miles, require abortions to be performed in ambulatory surgical centers and regulate abortion-inducing drugs, among other restrictions.

The House provisionally approved the bill Tuesday night. Wednesday’s formal vote lacked the surging crowds of activists that have inundated the state Capitol in recent days, according to video of the scene in Austin on WFAA-TV.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a backer of the legislation, released a statement shortly after its passage in the House.


“The tremendous outpouring of support for this legislation has demonstrated how Texas stands for life, and I commend everyone who wore blue, turned out and spoke up in support of life in our state,” Perry said in the statement. “Now is not the time to waver, however, as the Senate continues its important work in support of women’s health and protecting the lives of our most vulnerable Texans.”

The Senate is expected to take up the bill Thursday and could vote on it as early as Friday.

Late last month, a similar bill died dramatically in the Senate after a 13-hour filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth.


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Twitter: @devckelly