Texas Senate Tries to Pass Abortion Restriction, Though Session May Have Been Legally Over

A supposed "safety" law that would shut down nearly all abortion clinics in Texas supposedly passed tonight, though many on the scene report the vote happened illegally past midnight when the session was officially meant to be over, after a daylong filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis.

No major cable news channel covered the filibuster live, curiously, though Twitter was all a-twitter thanks to a Texas Tribune live feed.

Details on the bill from CBS News:

"This is really about women's health," said Sen. Bob Deuell, who introduced a requirement that all abortions take place in surgical centers. "Sometimes bad things can happen."

[Sen. Wendy] Davis questioned then why vasectomies and colonoscopies aren't also required to take place in such clinics. "Because I've been unable to have a simple question answered to help me understand how this would lead to better care for women, I must question the underlying motive for doing so."....

The bill would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and force many clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities and be classified as ambulatory surgical centers. Also, doctors would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles -- a tall order in rural communities....

CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports many clinics would be forced to shut down because they wouldn't be able to afford the changes required by the law. Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman's Health, said it would cost up to $2 million for each of her clinics to be upgraded to hospital-style operating rooms.

"I'd have to knock down the wall between this room and another room, I'd have to add airflow systems, I'd have to get oxygen piped in through walls instead of tank in here," she explained in one of her centers.

The Texas House passed it earlier this week.

Guy Bentley blogged about the afternoon's developments.

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  • ||

    CBS News correspondent Manuel Bojorquez reports many clinics would be forced to shut down because they wouldn't be able to afford the changes required by the law. Amy Hagstrom Miller, CEO of Whole Woman's Health, said it would cost up to $2 million for each of her clinics to be upgraded to hospital-style operating rooms.

    Oh sure, now liberals suddenly care about a law imposing unnecessary costs on a place of business.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "This is really about women's health," said Sen. Bob Deuell, who introduced a requirement that all abortions take place in surgical centers. "Sometimes bad things can happen."

    I suppose technically this isn't a "for the children" plea. Hopefully the bill's backers used the Gosnell case the way gun grabbers stood on top of Sandy Hook to try to parlay their tragedy into legislative gold. I do love left/right parity.

  • John Thacker||

    Well, it is sort of similar in that 71-85% of Americans support the particular restrictions in both the gun control and abortion control bills when polled on the restrictions in question themselves, but fewer people support the bills themselves.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "I do love left/right parity."

    Parity between a law disarming the public and a law protecting the youngest, weakest members of the public from being killed?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "a law protecting the youngest, weakest members of the public from being killed?"

    Youngest and weakest? Nay, the gleam in the eye predates and is weaker still...

  • Guy Laguy||



    Wendy Davis
    ‏@WendyDavisTexas
    The leadership may not want to listen to TX women, but they will have to listen to me. I intend to filibuster this bill. #SB5 #txlege
  • paranoid android||

    I'm nobody's idea of an abortion booster, but it's really quite gauche for the Republicans to argue in such transparent bad faith. Nobody thinks that the motivating concern for the Republicans is the health of women, as their clear objective is to limit the ability of women to have abortions. And to take the further step of seeking to achieve this aim through burdensome regulations, the same tactics that conservatives generally describe as socialism when employed by their opponents, is pretty ridiculous.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It's utter mendaciousness on all sides, unfortunately. Dems are expending some air of their own screaming about how much of an imposition these regulations are on the abortion industry -- an imposition which they had no problem with imposing on the rest of the medical industry and which would be considered meaningless to Dems in the case of almost any other business.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    OTOH, it has to be said that while the Reps' real reason for pushing this bill (general pro-life beliefs) are debatable as a public policy good, the Dems' opposition is based on grounds entirely inimical to public policy (the preservation of a favored niche for their donors to operate in).

    It's hard to argue that preserving preference for politically connected cronies is in any way noble.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Wow.

    The Republicans here pass a mendacious high regulation bill and for you the real bad guys here are the Democrats because they don't believe the right thing on other issues.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    As I think you would know, motivations in law do not matter. What matters is the text. What, exactly, is your issue with the text of this proposed law?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    That it increases regulation of a business?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    That's not the end of Republican hypocrisy. They profess to support businesses, but they want to close down chop shops and slave-trafficking rings. Where's the consistency, eh?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Hmmm, what's missing from your analogy?

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Yo' mama?

  • Mickey Rat||

    And for Democrats to be against regulation as being too burdensome for a business is also bad faith.

  • Adam330||

    Sure it's bad faith. And so are most other pushed for health safety and economic regulations. Evidence shows they have zero or marginal effects on safety health etc., but they have huge effects in wiping out competition, discouraging behavior legislators don't like, etc.

  • Agammamon||

    Hey if Obama can make a "recess" appointment, when congress is still in session, just because they're trying to thwart him then the Texas legislature can make laws when they're *not* in session if the opposition is trying to thwart them.

  • ||

    And the bill is dead, Texas Lieutenant Governor says vote came too late to be legal. Even though I generally agree with them on this issue, it annoys me to no end that abortion is the only right liberals give a shit about and yet it convinces them that they are the true party of liberty.

  • Mythical LibertarianWoman||

    This is exactly my issue. My twitter feed has been NOTHING but this topic for the past 9-10 hours, from almost every person I follow. Meanwhile, when Rand Paul filibustered re: droning citizens, there was... silence.

  • Certified Public Asskicker||

    I checked out the #standwithwendy, people can say a lot of dumb things in 140 characters.

  • John Thacker||

    I strongly suspect that (just like with many libertarian and business complaints about other regulations) the end result would not be all of the currently noncompliant places shutting down, but rather many of them becoming more expensive, while some of them shut down. Unfortunately it's not as persuasive an argument, but for example environmental and safety regulations have not in fact eliminated cars, but rather made them more expensive.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It's interesting to see so many libertarians take this situation of the GOP acting contrary to libertarianism and use it as a club against the Democrats and liberals.

    For some people libertarianism is about something bigger than Team Red/Team Blue crap.

    If Wendy Davis is standing up to get free contraceptives from me, then I'd be the first to oppose her. If she stands up to oppose this kind of meddlesome regulation, I'm the first to support her.

  • wareagle||

    It's interesting to see so many libertarians take this situation of the GOP acting contrary to libertarianism and use it as a club against the Democrats and liberals.

    perhaps you have mistaken this for a GOP fanboi network. It is not. But the hysteria among Dems that the one sacrament in their hymnal might be endangered by regulation is irony in the extreme. The Dems are the same party that has no problem regulating the hell out of any other business.

    Wendy Davis would be far more credible if her stance were about resisting reguation, per se, rather than resisting regulation in this one area.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    "perhaps you have mistaken this for a GOP fanboi network."

    It would be easier to see my mistake had most of the commenters here not taken this opportunity of GOP meddling to condemn....Democrats and liberals.

  • ||

    Mostly that's because what the commenters here hate more than most things is dipshit hypocrisy. The republicans are just passing another dipshit abortion bill as usual (and BTW absent the weirdness on hospital admitting etc which is clearly asshats trying to game the system, the 20 week thing is totally consistent for them). The Democrats are celebrating because a screaming mob managed to do what they couldn't do using the normal rule of law and procedure. Were this just about any other issue, they'd be all over themselves pissing and moaning about the lack of civility and the rise of conservative thuggishness. Christ, they're all up in arms because Alito rolled his goddam eyes.

    Screw both of those moron-preservation associations.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    No fan of hypocrisy myself, but I find oppressive laws to be worse than it.

    Besides, the hypocrisy cuts both ways here.

  • MJGreen||

    Agreed. But! Making fun of hypocrites is a much more fun conversation.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Did it ever occur to you that some of us are relatively pro-life? I, for one, find a bar on abortions past 20 weeks to be eminently reasonable.

    It irks me to no end when someone says "men pass laws concerning women's health". No, men pass laws concerning the termination of what they believe to be life i.e. murder.

  • ||

    what they believe...

    No matter what a baby requires the consent of the mother to be brought to term.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    That's rather insipid. It also requires the consent of the mother to be fed and clothed.

  • MJGreen||

    Or, the mother is obligated to support the life until some other willing provider is found. That's the case after the baby is birthed, after all.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The pro-life position is compatible with libertarianism, the 'let's use regulation to make it harder' seems less so.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    That is akin to saying we should not have laws on murder.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    What makes me chuckle about the thing is that it still keeps Texas's abortion law more liberal than France's. But I bet if you advocated switching over to a French attitude on abortion laws, most on the left would jump on board sight unseen.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    We have European-style laws on intellectual property, but the left screams about it. Of course, they attribute the law to teh evil Disney rather than Europe.

  • SugarFree||

    Hilary Clinton would like to thank the Texas GOP for their support in her 2016 presidential campaign.

  • Almanian!||

    After midnight
    We gonna let is alll
    Hang down
    (after midnight, after midnight)

    After midnight
    We gonna chug a lug
    and shout
    (after midnight, after midnight)

  • Jon Lester||

    Aside from the more constructive things Republicans could be doing to reduce abortion and shape a healthier future tax base, they need to finally recognize that single-issue voters are exactly why we have such wretched people as Dianne Feinstein in senior leadership roles.

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