Texas Senate Approves Controversial Abortion Bill


Just before midnight on Friday the Texas Senate, by a vote of 19 to 11, passed HB 2, the controversial abortion bill that has garnered the nation's attention over the past month, and sent it to the desk of Governor Rick Perry for his signature. The New York Times reports:

"The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and hold
abortion clinics to the same standards as hospital-style surgical
centers, among other requirements. Its supporters say that the
strengthened regulations for the structures and doctors will protect
women’s health; opponents argue that the restrictions are actually
intended to put financial pressure on the clinics that perform abortions
and will force most of them to shut their doors."

Despite the bill's recent failure in a special legislative session held for the purpose to review and ultimately pass the bill, thanks to the filibuster by State Senator Wendy Davis, Governor Perry made clear his intention to schedule another special session and the bill was widely expected to pass in the Republican controlled Senate. With that in mind, many Democrats attempted to amend the bill's more egregious elements but to no avail, as The Texas Tribune points out:

"Democrats offered 20 amendments, ranging from proposals to
add exceptions to the bill's 20-week abortion ban for victims of rape
and incest to requiring annual inspections of abortion facilities and
allowing teen mothers to be excluded from a state law requiring parental
consent for family planning services. All were rejected on party-line
votes in a debate that lasted until nearly midnight on Friday."

State Senator Davis, who many speculate will seek her state's highest office in 2014's gubernatorial election, has vowed not to give up the fight:  

“We all believe in the beauty and the wonder of human life. The fight for the future of Texas is
just beginning.”


  1. Brian in Texas says

    Abortion providers have a year to comply and federal lawsuits are already being filed. This is not over yet.

  2. excy says

    “We all believe in the beauty and the wonder of human life. The fight for the future of Texas is just beginning.”

    Good old Texas…..right to life unless you are about to be executed. Most recent statistics show that there are 300 inmates on death row in that state. Texas has executed 500 human beings since 1976….far more than any other jurisdiction in the USA.

  3. noteasilyoffended says

    I ask Texans who supported these new abortion restrictions- Will you then offer support of any and all forms to those children who are forced to be born to parents who are unable or unprepared to care for them? Doesn’t sound like it lately. What with all the cuts in education, food stamps, school lunches…… It has been my belief for some time that every person who is against abortion should be forced to adopt one child immediately. I don’t care if it is a hardship or if you aren’t prepared for it, or can’t afford it or don’t have the knowledge to care for the child. There are hundreds of thousand of kids in foster care in this country. By forcing people to adopt them, these children become “real” and not ambiguous beings. So, the ball is in your court anti-abortion believers. Help get kids out of foster care. Time to put up or shut up.

  4. Larry says

    Ah yes, the very same people who don’t support adoption by gay people or single people. “Every life is precious.” Really? Until that baby turns out to be gay and wants to be a Scout or get married? Bullsh*t.

  5. says

    I don’t see this as a “gay community” issue but rather an individual one. While I certainly favor freedom and “choice” I can also imagine how abortion could be used against us, particularly if a “gay” gene is ever identified. Texas bashing is fun sport but this isn’t a simple issue. I remember a play, “Twilight of the Golds,” which explored some of these concerns.

  6. Adam says

    Thank goodness that women will be banned from aborting babies who might contain a gay gene.

  7. RBearSAT says

    Throughout the night and during the House debate on Tuesday, Democrats offered amendment after amendment to not only take into consideration those babies who would be born into unfit circumstances but also issues regarding regulation (abortion clinics are inspected annually and ACSs are inspected every 3-4 years) and a host of other issues. Republicans rejected every single amendment, even a few designed to help make the bills pass constitutional challenge.

    The reasoning was that the amendments would force a conference committee and delay the legislation. Republicans, after being burned in the last special session, were afraid of getting into another time mismanagement situation.

    These bills, as well as several others across the country, are suspected to be more about setting up test cases to force SCOTUS to either rule more narrowly on abortion or overturn Roe v. Wade.

  8. says

    Disgraceful, Texas.

    And it is a simple issue if you believe women should have the right to control their own bodies. (No coincidence that Republicans also want to control the sexual and family lives of gay people.) The “gay gene” argument Jason/Adam/otheralias always posts is a red herring. (Not to mention the women who’d freak out at the prospect of a gay baby are the same women who are against abortion–irony.)

  9. Sean says

    The Texas legislature is crazy-like-a-fox.

    This is about appealing the resulting lawsuits up to, what is perceived to be, a friendly US Supreme Court.

  10. MIke says

    Wendy Davis has about as much a chance as winning Texas governor as an ice cube lasting on an Austin street through August.

  11. KC says

    I’m with noteasilyoffended. Are any of the rabid pro-life supporters willing to offer up help and support for the young women they’re forcing to have children against their will? How about some neo-natal care? Help for pregnant teens who are trying to just finish high school and have been kicked out of their homes by their own families? Anyone? Cricket… cricket… yep.

    We need to tag onto this shameful bill some sort of requirement that supporters will be required to adopt a child forced to be born into a world where they are unwanted. For whatever reason, there are just too many kids forced into foster care by this very sort of legislation. Time to put up or shut up, TX Republicans.

    Cricket… cricket… I thought so.

  12. says

    “Wendy Davis has about as much a chance as winning Texas governor as an ice cube lasting on an Austin street through August.”

    Which is why most of us are thankful not to live in Texas.

  13. TonyJazz says

    I was born in San Antonio, but Texas state politics are so shameful. I could not imagine returning to live in that state, but I do support (and feel sorry for) those that do….

  14. ratbastard says

    When I was in my early 20s I worked in an abortion clinic. They called themselves a ‘Center for Sexual Reproduction’ [kind of creepy name, no?] and would like to claim they offered ll kinds of ‘reproductive’ services including birth control to women and girls. Fact is the vast majority of what they did were abortions. Abortions were their meal ticket. And it was an assembly line, factory-like set-up: A long narrow corridor of tiny closed off closet sized rooms were ‘consultations took place, directly across the hall opposite rooms were tint surgical rooms were the abortions took place, and parallel to the consultation rooms, on the opposite side of the surgical rooms, was one long, narrow corridor-type room lined with hospital beds, where women went post-abortion, and were given ginger ale and cookies before being sent on their way.

    The whole thing left a very bad impression on me, and I’ve never forgotten it. To me, it was like something the Nazis or Marxist in Russia or China would have set up. I’m not religious and don’t object to abortions if mom’s life is in danger, if it’s the result of a rape, or if it’s done early on. I do think morally it’s wrong after a certain stage in the fetus [baby’s] development, and am opposed to late term abortions on a whim, minus and danger to the mother. A fetus [baby in Latin] is not a ‘thing’, and should not be treated as such, IMO. I understand most religions strongly oppose abortions [minus Jews, unless I’m mistaken. I suppose ultra orthodox oppose abortions, but don’t know]. This in itself shouldn’t be a reason for banning abortions since we’re a secular society. I’m Agnostic but not strictly a secular humanist. I do believe there are appropriate taboos in our society and among humans in general, and it is appropriate to judge people for their behavior and actions. I believe our laissez fare attitude towards abortion and some other things stems primarily from the today publicly discredited eugenics movement. I thin eugenics is being used today, covertly, as a way of controlling society socially, economically, and politically. A prime example is the way we in advanced western societies have been told for many decades, since at least the 60s, that having children is somehow bad, that at most you should only have one or two. Fast forward to today, and we’re now being told [often by the very same people] that we don’t reproduce at a fast enough rate, so we must import millions of immigrants from societies with high birth rates. Irrational? Yes, I’d say so. Almost like something a person with high functioning Aspergers would come up with.

    Birth control, especially among poor and dysfunctional women and men, should be strongly encouraged. It makes no sense that our society actually rewards women and their BF/husband, whatever, to have children they can’t care for on their own minus public help, and then these children often grow up to become serious problems for our society. In this respect I agree partially with the idea of eugenics to help foster a better and more sane world. Stable people should also be encouraged to have children. But I personally believe abortion should only be used in dire circumstances, not in a casual, laissez fare manner. It shouldn’t be encouraged as a form of birth control. And I question the true motivations of many abortion clinics/mills.

  15. jamal49 says

    And the Republican War Against Women continues unabated.

    Gay people, do not ever take your rights to live and breath free in the land of your birth for granted.

    Republicans will eventually take our rights away, too.

    One wonders what the LCR has to say about this. We already know that the GoProud Girls are anti-choice.

  16. Jason B. says

    I don’t see this as a Gay or Lesbian issue. Putting aside the general stupidity of the people pushing this bill, it is understandable that a time limit is put on the allowable period a pregnancy can be ended. At some point there is another human being who’s rights do need protection. When that point is seems to be the primary argument. I personally believe its when the Neocortex forms, about 23-25 weeks. I also think 20 weeks or 5 months is not unreasonable. Secondly, asking these facilities to have the same safety standards as other out-patient facilities seems logical and reasonable.

    So, I think this is not as big a deal as the liberal talking heads are making it as abortion should be available, safe and rare. It’s a poor method of birth control.