20-Week Abortion Ban Moves Forward in Texas

House votes at 3:23am
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 24, 2013 7:36 AM CDT
20-Week Abortion Ban Moves Forward in Texas
A large Texas flag is carried up Congress Avenue towards the Texas Capitol.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Texas' state House has preliminarily backed a clampdown on abortions, with a 97-33 vote on a bill that most notably includes a ban on the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The mostly party-line vote came with 19 representatives absent, 18 of whom were Democrats, the Dallas Morning News notes. The House voted at 3:23am, prompting a big reaction from members of the public who had been in attendance since 2pm yesterday. While some cheered, a louder contingent yelled, "Shame!"

"I’ve never ever seen this kind of outpouring on a Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, early Monday morning in late June," said a Democratic rep. The House must vote again before the bill can head back to the Senate, where lawmakers will weigh House changes, the 20-week ban among them. With the legislative session ending tomorrow, the Houston Chronicle calls the bill's "prospects for passing ... difficult," while the Morning News asserts the Senate will "more than likely" OK the 20-week addition and "put it up for a vote." (Click to read about one Texas Republican's headline-grabbing defense of the legislation.)

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