orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Local News

June 24, 2013

Texas Republicans on verge of passing abortion law

(Continued)

AUSTIN, Texas —

Rep. Jody Laubenberg, R-Parker, led the effort in the House to add a measure banning abortions after 20 weeks, shaving four weeks off current law.

"At five months, we are talking about a human being, unless you think it's still a clump of mass," she said during the floor debate.

According to the National Council of State Legislatures, eight legislatures have banned abortions after 20 weeks, Arizona did so at 18 weeks, and Arkansas passed a ban after 12 weeks. Federal judges have thrown out the laws in Arizona and Iowa, and judges have blocked similar measures in the other states.

Texas House Democrats managed to delay the voting on the bill for 15 hours Sunday night into early Monday morning, but the Republican majority voted to suspend debate, stop pending amendments and force a vote at 3:30 a.m. House Speaker Joe Straus then adjourned and called lawmakers back for the final House vote at 6:46 a.m.

Democrats, though, stayed away until 9 a.m. denying Republicans a quorum. Four Democrats joined Republicans in supporting the bill and a single Republican from Houston opposed it.

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