Mid-afternoon report: Amendments to HB2 voted down
Several amendments were proposed, but none approved, as the Texas House of representatives continues its proceedings regarding House Bill 2, the measure that would overhaul the state's abortion rules.
The Texas House of Representatives convened for the second special session today. Collin County Republican Jodie Laubenberg provided testimony regarding House Bill 2, the abortion bill she sponsors and which has received national and even worldwide attention as it has gone before the Texas Legislature.
The House remains in session this afternoon, with live video streams of both chambers available at KETR.org.
During today’s proceedings, Laubenberg said she does not believe that the provision requiring abortion facilities to upgrade to ambulatory surgical center would cause clinics to close. She noted that the measure contained a one-year grace period to comply with the new regulation. Representatives from West Texas and other rural regions expressed their fears that the bill would cause the closure of clinics in their region.
Today’s activity consisted mainly of proposed amendments to the bill. Several amendments were presented, but the House voted to table them all, leaving House Bill 2 in the same form as it was at the close of the first special session.
Houston Republican Sarah Davis, the only Republican to oppose the bill in the last session, proposed an amendment to allow pregnancies resulting from rape and incest an exemption from the bill’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks. Current federal law specifies a 24-week cutoff.
Houston Democrat Craig Eiland proposed an amendment that would reduce the bill to the 20-week ban only, noting that of the 75 thousand abortion performed annually in Texas, only about 400 occur after 20 weeks. None of the proposed amendments were approved, and as of this report, the Texas House of representatives remains in session, reviewing more proposed amendments to House bill 2. For KETR news, this is Mark Haslett.