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Texas abortion showdown continues

Texas abortion showdown continues

POSTED: Wednesday, July 3, 2013 - 8:08am

UPDATED: Sunday, July 7, 2013 - 10:48am

The battle over Texas' attempts to change its abortion law continued Tuesday at the state capitol.

Crowds of pro-choice and anti-abortion advocates flooded a House committee meeting on a bill that would impose strict new regulations on abortions in the state. Inside the hearing room, it was quiet as people waited their turn to speak.

But outside the hearing, it was prayer circles versus drum circles. Color-coordinated groups (blue and orange) huddled together throughout the statehouse, joined by ideology.

Middle ground was hard to come by. Each side has preconceived notions about the motives of the other side, and each side was going out of its way to prove the other's stereotypes correct. In the capitol rotunda, a group of abortion-rights activists joined hands to dance and sing in a circle, while above them anti-abortion demonstrators fell to their knees to pray.

The House State Affairs Committee gathered Tuesday afternoon with more than 1,900 people ready to share their opinions on House Bill 2. Fewer than 300 would be able to do so before the midnight deadline. Both sides were bringing in food, and the Department of Public Safety was maintaining the peace.

The initial House bill failed after a day and night of drama in which state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, talked for more than 10 hours in an attempt to run out the clock on the legislative session. But Gov. Rick Perry called a special session so the Legislature could take up the measure again.

The bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and tighten standards on abortion clinics and the doctors who work at them. Critics said the measure would shut down most of the abortion clinics in Texas.

Tuesday's hearing was meant to take note of public testimony. Among those who testified against House Bill 2 was Stacy Wilson, counsel for the Texas Hospital Association. Democratic Rep. Sylvester Turner requested her testimony to be put into writing because he thought it was "critically important" to the bill. Turner said, "As a member of this committee, I have the right to ask for testimony to be reduced to writing. This is important."

Testimony also was heard from those in favor of the bill.

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If the Republicans are so supportive of women's health, will their next bill to require women to give birth in a hospital?

This is just political grandstanding by Perry. He still has presidential ambitions. Republicans in Texas are low information voters, primarily those watching the Fox News Network. They only have one source of news opinion and they parrot it, without checking those pesky facts. There are far more pressing healthcare concerns for Texans and these bozos know it. Our government has become a comic opera of sound bites geared toward getting the most votes from the constituency.

8 to 3...this disgrace ban passed the committee and will head for the legislature early next week...what a tragedy for equality, for self-determination, for compassion for those who are victimized and pregnant...the clinics that will close because of this bill provide far more cancer and wellness screenings, along with birth control, than they do now, women with late-stage cancer that could have been detected earlier with screening will flood ERs and die young...great job, men.

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