Thanks to our colleagues at KERA, who in turn have gotten the feed from The Texas Tribune, there’s a livestream of Tuesday’s debate in the Texas House. The lawmakers are taking up legislation that would give Texas some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country.
Last month, Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth, drew national attention when she staged a nearly 11-hour filibuster that kept the legislation from moving forward. Tuesday’s debate is expected to last through the day.
“Would make abortions illegal after 20 weeks, instead of the normal 24 weeks, and it would require abortion facilities to upgrade to ambulatory surgical centers and require abortion clinic doctors to gain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.”
Supporters of the legislation say the new standards would raise the level of health care for Texas women. Opponents say the bill would force most Texas abortion clinics to close and some women might turn to illegal, dangerous alternatives.
Republicans control both the state House and state Senate in Texas. Gov. Rick Perry is also a Republican. The bill is expected to pass both chambers and to be signed into law by Perry.
The state Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee heard around 13 hours of testimony about the legislation on Monday and into early Tuesday, KUT News writes. It adds that:
“There won’t be a vote on this bill for now. Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chair Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, says the Senate will wait on the Texas House to approve its version of the bill. The full House is taking up the issue today.”
Note: Rick Holter, KERA’s vice president/news, reminds us that the two sides in the Texas debate have chosen colors to show where they stand: orange for those who oppose the legislation and blue for those who support it.