The Texas House passed a bill this morning that will make late-term abortions illegal in Texas if successfully passed in the Senate. The bill will also require that abortion clinics raise health care standards to better protect women’s health.
Governor Rick Perry called a second Special Session of Congress after the bill was delayed by a filibuster in the Texas Senate two weeks ago. If passed, the proposed legislation would ban abortions after a baby has been alive for 20 weeks and would require for abortion clinics to become surgical centers with admitting privileges in nearby hospitals.
The bill was passed in the Texas House with a 96-49 vote this morning, after having been debated over for ten hours on Tuesday. During the deliberation, conservatives did not acquiesce to their opponents’ requests to amend the bill. The House gallery was “overflowing” with pro-life supporters dressed in blue, according to the Texas Right to Life Facebook page.
The Republican-dominated Senate, which voted to pass the bill two weeks ago after Senator Wendy Davis’ filibuster came to an end, is thought likely to pass the bill banning late-term abortions. If it does pass, however, opponents hope that the legislation will be blocked by federal lawsuits and declared unconstitutional.
Christians across America have expressed their support for unborn children’s right to life. John Piper tweeted this morning, “If she WANTS the baby, to kill it is homicide. If she doesn’t, it’s abortion.” In a tweet last night referring to Tuesday’s provisional vote, presiding officer of the Texas Senate Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said, “Glad to see #HB2 passed in the House tonight! In Texas, we strongly #stand4life!”
The Texas Alliance for Life website encourages pro-life supporters to persist in their efforts - “We need to continue to show overwhelming pro-life support for this bill as it advances into the next stage and moves closer toward becoming law,” it says. The bill could come to a vote in the Texas Senate as early as Friday.