Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 July 2014

Senate passes abortion restrictions

Abortion rights advocates fill the rotunda of the Texas State Capitol ahead of the vote on abortion restrictions (AP)

The Texas Senate has passed tough new abortion restrictions, sending them to Governor Rick Perry to sign into law.

The vote came after weeks of protests and rallies drew thousands to the Capitol and made Texas the focus of the national abortion debate.

Republicans used their majority to pass the bill nearly three weeks after a filibuster by Democratic Senator Wendy Davis and an outburst by abortion-rights supporters in the Senate gallery disrupted a deadline vote.

Called back for a new special session, lawmakers took up the bill again as supporters and opponents held rallies and jammed the Capitol to testify at hearings.

The bill requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, allows abortions only at surgical centres and bans abortions after 20 weeks.

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