UPI en Espanol
facebook
twitter
account
search
search

Texas House panel approves abortion measure

July 3, 2013 at 8:56 AM

AUSTIN, Texas, July 3 (UPI) -- A Republican-dominated House panel OKd a sweeping bill that would restrict abortions in Texas Wednesday in the second special session called to pass the bill.

After hearing testimony from some of the 2,300 who signed up to speak on the bill, the House State Affairs Committee approved the measure 8-3, with two absences, the Dallas Morning News reported.

It was the first public hearing on the abortion bill in the special session Republican Gov. Rick Perry called after a Democratic filibuster killed an identical measure during a special session in June.

In testimony Tuesday, Austin physician Bradley Price, an obstetrician-gynecologist, told the panel the abortion bill it was considering wasn't based on sound science and would harm women's health.

"This comes from the politicians, not our profession," Price said. "It would jeopardize women's health care and interfere with medical practice and patient-physician relationships. It would also close most abortion clinics and would decrease the number of doctors who can provide care."

Republican Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, author of the legislation, said when she was explaining the bill her intention was to "to protect the health and safety of women" seeking abortions.

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks, except to save the life of the woman or to terminate a fetus with severe abnormalities, and also would require abortion clinics and doctors performing the procedures to comply with the new requirements, including all abortion clinics to upgrade to surgical center standards.

Rep. Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, cited predictions the number of abortion clinics in Texas would fall from 42 to five if the standards provision in the bill took effect and asked, "Would women's safety be enhanced if 37 clinics go away?"

Laubenberg did not answer the question directly but said she would not support an amendment offered by Turner that would provide state funding to upgrade the clinics.

Laubenberg acknowledged when the bill passes, as it is expected to during this session, it will face a legal challenge.

Related UPI Stories
Topics: Rick Perry
Top Stories
Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio requests new judge and public assistance with legal fees
New Orleans police officer fatally shot in patrol car
Islamic State says it can soon buy nuclear weapon, smuggle it into U.S.
Federer upset over fan who stormed tennis court for 'selfie' at French Open
Landslide in Nepal blocks Kali Gandaki River, threatens flooding