The Texas House of Representatives this morning passed House Bill 2, the measure containing sweeping new restrictions on abortion.
The bill passed 96-49, mainly along party lines. All representatives from the KETR listening area voted in favor of the measure, which ban abortions after 20 weeks. Current federal law sets the cutoff at 24 weeks of pregnancy. The bill requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, and only allows abortions to be performed in ambulatory surgical centers. That last provision could close most existing abortion facilities in the state if they don’t make the necessary upgrades within a one-year grace period.
Next up for the bill – it must next go through the Texas Senate before becoming law. The Senate is out of session today, although committees are active. The full Senate re-convenes tomorrow at 9 a.m. A final vote could be held as early as Friday.
For KETR News, this is Mark Haslett.