AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Republicans have passed new abortion restrictions expected to close almost every abortion clinic in the nation’s second most populous state.
The Republican-controlled Senate voted for the bill while hundreds of protesters screamed from the gallery. Reporters and Democrats saw the voting begin after midnight, but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said it began just before.
Texas’ special legislative session ended at midnight, and Democrats spent most of the day filibustering the bill. Republicans cited rules to eventually force a vote to end the filibuster.
The bill bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requires that all procedures take place in a surgical center.
Doctors who perform abortions would also need admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The surgical center requirement would shut down 37 of Texas’ 42 abortion clinics.