Legislators of Texas have passed one contentious bill that bans abortions after twenty weeks of the pregnancy.
This legislation, debated in state Senate when passed in House, will shut down many abortion clinics of the state.
The Republicans had quickly moved to pass this bill after one Democratic senator blocked it originally with one speech that was marathon delaying.
Governor Rick Perry vowed that he would sign this bill into law even amid huge protests.
Texas legislation does mirror series of the state laws passed recently in Ohio, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin, Kansas and Arizona.
Supreme Court of US legalised abortion in 1973 nationwide, but around one dozen states enacted laws during the recent years which limit access to this procedure. Some state legislation now is tied in the court battles.
This bill came near passage the previous month though got blocked in state Senate at the time Senator Wendy Davis gave a speech for about 11 hours – during delaying speech which is known as filibuster – in the attempt of running out clock on legislative session.
Following day, a Republican, Mr Perry, who is against abortion, called special session for taking up abortion bill as well as other legislation.
Abortion and anti-abortion rights protesters rallied at state capitol at Austin since the beginning of 2nd special session.
This bill would require all the procedures of abortion to take place at the surgical centre, also mandate all the doctors performing any abortions have the admitting privileges at any hospital within thirty miles of clinic.
Only 6 abortion clinics located in Texas could be classified to be surgical centres. All happen to be in big metropolitan areas. The critics say that the provision would force some of the women to cover 100s of miles for having an abortion, though the supporters say that it would protect the women’s health as well as the foetus.
The Democrats argued that childbirth tends to be more dangerous compared to abortion and the drugs for abortion don’t pose much risk. They planned of introducing many amendments to this bill, including the exceptions for incest and rape.
A Democrat, Senator Rodney Westalso, questioned that why did the Republicans want to pass the restrictions that were similar to the ones currently tied in many legal challenges.
Sen West said, while raising right hand, that he promises that there would be lawsuits.
Among bill’s opponents happened to be Texas Hospital Association, Texas Medical Association as well as American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Senator Hegar was asked the reason he was for the sponsoring of bill which wasn’t supported by medical experts, to which he said that many doctors and experts do support these restrictions.
Bob Duell, another senator and a Republican defended this bill, saying that the state’s abortion clinics didn’t have proper care standard or the maintenance.
In the testimony before House committee, the lawmakers heard some personal stories in favour of both the sides. Some of the women considered it to be second chance for them whereas some regretted undergoing abortion.
The officers checked people’s bags thoroughly before entering gallery on Friday as police had information some would contain items for disrupting legislative proceedings.
Police said that they confiscated
“significant quantities of feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti possessed by individuals as well as one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain faeces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint”.
Every spectator was given one copy of capitol’s decorum rules that stipulate that stipulate that there couldn’t be any demonstrations or any attempts regarding disruption of chamber’s work.
With the dramatic conclusion of Sen Davis’ filibuster the previous month, the protesters chanted while in gallery when she got ruled to be off the topic. The Democratic senators did take up rest of time before midnight deadline occupied with the procedural challenges.