Complete coverage of the 83rd session of the Texas Legislature.

Texas House Mulls Major Abortion Bills Despite Protests

Lawmakers must approve bills by Tuesday at midnight

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Protesters lined the State Capitol in Austin as lawmakers debated and prepared to vote on sweeping anti-abortion laws. (Published Sunday, Jun 23, 2013)

    Inside the State Capitol in Austin, a sea of orange spread throughout all levels on Sunday.

    Those in orange shirts were showing support for the right to have an abortion.

    Hundreds Protest Texas Abortion Restrictions

    [DFW] Hundreds Protest Texas Abortion Restrictions
    On Sunday, state lawmakers in Texas prepared to vote on some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country. (Published Sunday, Jun 23, 2013)

    “Abortion is a deeply personal issue that should be left between woman, doctor and faith,” said Katy Walters, an abortion advocate from Austin.

    “It's absolutely insane we are still having this debate in this day and age,” said Alyssa Potasznik of Dallas.

    Although, in all the lines, all the overflow rooms throughout the capitol, there are voices against abortion.

    “I stand in line for the babies,” said Irvilene Patton of Austin.

    Patton is against abortions.

    “We have to be responsible if you're going to do it, you're going to take the baby and raise it,” said Patton.

    Patton’s view point comes from a very personal place.

    “My children don't know it, I never told them, I had an abortion and it's not anything I'm proud of it, I'm ashamed of it, I never told them and it's wrong,” said Patton.

    She like many was in line to get into the gallery to see what lawmakers decide on bills that would impact, doctors, clinics and the women who use them.

    “It started here in Austin, Texas when we had Roe v Wade,” said Patton. “And that’s where we’re trying to stop it.”

    “It just shows people are watching, and people are concerned, people are taking action,” said Potasznik.

    The Texas House has pushed aside other matters and begun debating further tightening abortion restrictions statewide -- despite the objections of hundreds of protesters.

    Time is running out for lawmakers to approve bills before the 30-day special legislative session ends Tuesday at midnight. 

    Democrats used parliamentary technicalities Sunday to halt all debate for hours. But Republicans then responded by postponing all other legislation. 

    That allowed them to more quickly consider an omnibus bill that would require many abortion facilities statewide to make costly upgrades or shut down. 

    It also would make it more difficult for Texas women to undergo abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

    The Associated Press contributed to this article.