Texas Senate fails to pass restrictive abortion bill - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Texas Senate fails to pass restrictive abortion bill

via Texas Tribune via Texas Tribune

UPDATE: Texas abortion bill fails after challenge

Hours after votes were cast, it was determined new abortion restrictions failed to pass the Texas Senate because time ran out on the special session.

Confusion reigned in the Texas capitol as it was unclear if Texas Republicans passed new abortion restrictions expected to close almost every abortion clinic in the nation's second most populous state.

The dispute centered on when the vote on Senate Bill No. 5 took place.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted for the bill while hundreds of protesters screamed from the gallery. Reporters and Democrats saw the voting begin after midnight, but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and senate Republicans said voting began just before the deadline.

The Senate met behind closed doors for an hour to determine if the vote counted. Around 3 a.m., senators came out and said the vote didn't count because it concluded after midnight.

Texas' special legislative session ended at midnight, and Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth spent most of the day filibustering the bill. Republicans cited rules to eventually force a vote to end the filibuster, triggering a final hour and a half of haggling over the chamber's rules.

The bill would have banned abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and required that all procedures take place in a surgical center.

Doctors who performed abortions would also have needed admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The surgical center requirement would likely have shut down 37 of Texas' 42 abortion clinics.

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