Texas House Committee Approves Abortion Restrictions
Texas Republicans voted early Wednesday to move forward with new abortion restrictions after limiting testimony at a public committee hearing, refusing to consider Democratic amendments and imposing strict security precautions to prevent additional disruptions from protesting abortion-rights supporters, Fox News reports. On a party-line vote, the Republican majority sent the bill to the full Texas House for a vote next week. Gov. Rick Perry is pushing his allies in the legislature to move quickly after he called lawmakers back for a second special session to pass the bill, which would limit when, where and how women can obtain an abortion in the state. The debate over the abortion restrictions has mobilized the public like no other issue in at least a decade. More than 3,500 people came to the Capitol and registered a position on the bill, and more than 1,000 signed up to testify, but fewer than 100 people had a chance to express their views because the top Republican on the committee limited testimony to eight hours and refused entreaties to extend it. About 700 of the bill's opponents showed up for a hearing during the first special session, and thousands filled the Capitol on that session's final day to support Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster of the bill.