Bill placing restrictions on abortions moves forward in Texas legislature

A controversial bill placing more restrictions on abortion in the State of Texas has moved forward in the legislature.

Senate Bill 8 passed the House on final reading Saturday.
“I'm very pleased that it passed,” said State Representative Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth. 

Klick is one of 93 lawmakers that helped pass senate bill 8 through the house chamber.  Although the bill got the number of votes needed to move forward, 45 lawmakers voted against it.

“I think that we all need to be voices for all Texans. These are deeply personal and difficult decisions and none of us should try to put ourselves in the shoes of a woman who is facing that decision. That’s what republicans insist on doing and it’s unfortunate,” said Representative Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie.  
SB 8 would ban dilation and evacuation abortions, one of the most common types available to women in their second trimester of pregnancy.

The amendment was put forth by Klick, causing some heated debate on the House floor.

“It's important because this is one of the most barbaric procedures that are used, a child that's alive is ripped apart piece by piece,” Klick said. 

“I think it absolutely will unfortunately lead to backdoor abortions. We know that clinics have closed across Texas because of previous attacks on reproductive rights and that does force women into backdoor or back alley abortions,” said Turner. 

Amendments proposed by democrats to create exceptions to the ban failed.

“I offered an amendment yesterday to provide that exception for a victim of sexual assault, but unfortunately it was voted down in largely a party line vote, and that's a terrible message the legislature is sending to women who have been a victim of sexual assault,” Turner said. 

“My response would be, there are other procedures that can be used rather than ripping a living child with a heartbeat apart piece by piece,” said Klick. 

SB 8 would also require fetal tissue from an abortion or miscarriage to be buried or cremated.

Some lawmakers said the bill will force a judicial ruling.
“This will definitely go to court and, just like previous women's health bills the legislatures passed, just like redistricting, just like voter ID, I fully expect our courts to find all or part of this law unconstitutional and it's unfortunate that republicans continue to pass unconstitutional laws,” Turner said.

“Well that's always a possibility. I feel very confident that the courts will see the inhumane treatment. We don't do this to prisoners, we don't do this to animals, there's prohibition, why in the world should we be doing this to human beings?” said Klick.

“So this is not a conservative thing to do. Just thinking about it in terms of money, right? State money is going to be wasted trying to defend this unconstitutional law,”  said Representative Eddie Rodriguez, D-Austin.

SB 8 will now go back to the Senate for approval after the addition of the House amendments.

Senators expect it to pass their chamber and head to the governor to be signed into law.