On Tuesday, the Texas House of Representatives tentatively passed restrictive abortion bill HB2 in the second special session, two weeks after Senator Wendy Davis’ filibuster on SB5. With this vote of 98 to 42, the House approved HB2 which includes multiple abortion restrictions such as a ban on abortions after 20 weeks. The ban does not include exceptions for cases of rape or incest, as was proposed in an amendment by Representative Senfronia Thompson.
HB2 also imposes stricter safety regulations on clinics providing abortions, even if they only perform medication abortions. These restrictions would force the closure of all but five of Texas’ abortion clinics due to such requirements as admitting privileges for doctors providing abortions to a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic and regulations that force clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers. The new requirements are in addition to already-present Texan laws for abortion, including parental consent, a 24-hour waiting period, and a mandatory ultrasound that must be shown and described to the person seeking an abortion.
HB2 will come to a final House vote on Wednesday, and then move to the Senate if it passes. The bill has considerable support in the Senate and from Texas Governor Rick Perry.