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Abortion Bills Debate in Texas Senate Slated for Next Week

Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

After lengthy public testimony on Thursday, not much debate took place today in a Texas Senate committee.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee approved four bills to tighten abortion regulations. Texas State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, one of the committee members, says most Senate Democrats won’t vote for the abortion-related bills now up for debate, but he’s confident they’ll pass the Senate.

"What can Democrats do about it? If in fact Democrats are really upset about this type of ruling, then they need to register and get out and vote and change the leadership," Sen. West said.

Kyleen Wright with Texas Right to Life came to the Capitol today for the Senate panel’s hearing. She’s confident the House will also pass these bills, though some lawmakers question whether the special session has enough time remaining.

"The leadership has been supportive of the pro-life measures in both chambers and in the Governor’s office and that hasn’t changed with regard to primaries. A lot of members support this," Wright said.

The measures involve banning abortion after 20 weeks of gestation, abortion-inducing medication and enforcing standards of facilities that perform the procedure. They go next to the full Senate for a vote expected next Tuesday.

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