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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jul 1, 2013 8:39 PM Flag

    Texas Rallies on Abortion Restrictions Draw Thousands

    Texas Rallies on Abortion Restrictions Draw Thousands

    By David Mildenberg - Jul 1, 2013 3:34 PM MT

    Texas lawmakers convened to consider restrictions that might close most abortion clinics as partisans in color-coded shirts rallied under the eyes of mounted police.

    The Texas House of Representatives plans a hearing tomorrow, and neither it nor the Senate is planning to vote on the measure until next week.

    Anti-abortion supporters today ringed the second floor balcony overlooking an atrium, singing “Amazing Grace.” Outside, Dixie Chicks star Natalie Maines sang the national anthem to women’s rights advocates as organizers handed out bottles of water in 90-degree heat.

    Last week, lawmakers came close to approving abortion limits before Democratic Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth spoke against them more than 10 hours to run out the clock on a special legislative session. When Republicans forced a vote, they were prevented from meeting their midnight deadline by jeering protesters. Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, called another 30-day session this week to reconsider the measure.

    “Women in Texas have been angry and discouraged for a long time,” Davis told reporters after the Senate completed its session today. “This is the first time that that anger is giving way to hope.”

    The legislation would ban abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy and require that they be performed in ambulatory surgical centers by doctors with admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (50 kilometers). Most clinics would have to alter facilities to meet the requirements, which abortion-rights advocates say they can’t afford. Doctors at other clinics may struggle to win privileges.

    Lawmakers Meet

    The Texas House State Affairs Committee will hear testimony on the bill tomorrow afternoon and ending at midnight local time, said Representative Byron Cook, a Republican.

    “Nobody’s mind will be changed by the testimony at this point,” he said in an interview. He said

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