The outcome in Texas this morning was never really in doubt, but for supporters of reproductive rights, it was nevertheless disappointing.
House Republicans Wednesday muscled through a sweeping package of abortion restrictions – shifting the spotlight back on the Senate, where the controversial proposal failed to pass last month after a marathon filibuster by Democrats.
Final approval of House Bill 2 came Wednesday via a 96-49 vote in the lower chamber. That wraps up a nasty partisan fight in the House and sends proposal to the Senate for what is likely to be the Legislature’s last showdown this summer on abortion.
The proposal now heads to the state Senate, which will consider the bill in committee tomorrow. It’s expected to reach the floor early next week – and this time, proponents believe procedural tactics, from state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), will not succeed.
In case anyone’s forgotten, the legislation would ban abortions after 20 weeks – despite U.S. Supreme Court precedent – and close all but five of the 42 clinics in the state where abortion services are currently provided.
In fact, it’s worth noting that Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) has boasted that closing these health clinics and removing choices for women is really the point of the legislation.