Texas Senate panel passes restrictions on teen abortions

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A Texas Senate panel has approved tighter restrictions on a process enabling teens to have abortions in extreme cases, when they can't get the required parental consent.

Members of the Health and Human Services Committee on Tuesday recommended Republican Rep. Geanie Morrison's bill to the full Senate. It passed the House last week and now only needs upper chamber approval.

Morrison's measure would drastically alter "judicial bypass," allowing girls under 18 to seek a judge's permission to have an abortion without parental consent.

Opponents and even supporters worry about a bill provision stating that if a judge doesn't rule on a judicial bypass application within five days, it is automatically denied.

Texas Alliance for Life executive director Joe Pojman said the provision would face constitutional challenges "without any realistic benefit."

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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