HB2 Passes Senate, Abortion Now Virtually Impossible in Texas
It's not a surprise, but it still sucks. On Friday night, the Texas Senate passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country in a 19-11 vote, only two weeks after Wendy Davis' heroic filibuster temporarily killed the bill.
HB2, which shot to national notoriety on June 25th (along with Davis' trainers), will force most of the state's abortion clinics to close. It will also ban abortions after 20 weeks and require doctors doing the procedure to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. It will also legally require that doctors are present during a pill-induced abortion. Essentially, it'll make abortions incredibly difficult to have.
Until now, there have been around 70,000 abortions a year in Texas.
The session stretched into midnight with over 2,000 demonstrators (sans dangerous sanitary products) filling the Capital building in Austin, with one woman even chaining herself to the railing. (Troopers had to use bolt cutters to get her out.)
The Republican majority held fast, though, and—in spite of 21 amendments being offered and debated—ultimately passed the bill without any amendments.
HB2 now goes to Governor Rick Perry, who has pledged to sign it into law.
"Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life," the Governor said. (Final? Must've stepped over that pesky death penalty, then. Maybe while celebrating the state's 500th execution?)
But Democrats have vowed to fight the bill in the courts.
"Let's make sure that tonight is not an ending point, it's a beginning point for our future, our collective futures, as we work to take this state back," Wendy Davis said after the bill passed.
Recently, North Carolina also set new restrictions on abortion by sneaking them into a motorcycle safety bill, and, in Illinois, the state ruled that an old law can be used to inform parents of their daughter's abortion. Missouri also passed a law on Friday requiring doctors to be present when inducing abortions by pill.