Blues them away on Texas abortion bill

Jul 3, 2013 by

Blued shirted anti-abortion protesters outnumber the baby killers!

Blued shirted anti-abortion protesters outnumber the baby killers!

More than 1,900 people signed up to testify about proposed abortion restrictions before a Texas House committee Tuesday, but rules imposed by the chairman meant that no more than 140 members of the public would get to speak.

Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, imposed an eight-hour limit on the hearing, with each person getting three minutes before the committee, and he chose a room with 67 seats. The meeting started at 3:30 p.m.

Two weeks ago, a hearing on House Bill 2 during the first special session turned into a 12-hour marathon when 700 protesters slowed passage of the bill. A few days later, a filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, and an angry crowd stopped the bill from becoming law, leading Gov. Rick Perry to call the Legislature back for a second special session.

Republicans appear set on passing the measure as quickly as possible in the new 30-day special session.

Democrats questioned Cook about why he chose such a small room, more than a third of it reserved for staff, lawmakers and media.

“We wanted to ensure the maximum security for every person who is here,” he said. Also, he said, he was limiting testimony because hundreds of people had already testified during the two previous sessions.

Reps. Jessica Farrar and Sylvester Turner, both Houston Democrats, asked Cook to schedule additional hearings to allow everyone a chance to speak, but Cook refused.

Live video of the hearing was fed into nine other hearing rooms, where demonstrators filled up more than 1,200 additional seats and overflowed into hallways. They appeared to be equally split between supporters of the bill wearing blue and opponents wearing orange.

House Bill 2, sponsored by Rep. Jody Laubenberg, R-Parker, would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require that the procedure be performed at ambulatory surgical centers, mandate that doctors who perform abortions obtain admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles and that even pill-induced abortions must take place in a surgical center.

As she spoke to the committee, Laubenberg insisted that the bill was intended “to protect the health and safety of every woman who undergoes an abortion.” Under questioning from Farrar, she refused to answer whether the state had any data to show that women need the additional regulations.

Five of 42 clinics in Texas qualify as ambulatory surgical centers, and they are in major metropolitan areas. Other Republicans have acknowledged that the ultimate goal is to close abortion clinics.

Read more here:

Testimony on abortion bill limited by chairman | Top Stories | News from Fort Worth, Dal….

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