Proposed Ban on Abortion If Fetal Heartbeat Is Detected Might Not Survive in Texas

AUSTIN — On abortion this year, there’s near-unanimity in the Texas Capitol in a way that few might expect.Advocates for Republicans to continue a multi-year course of stiffening abortion restrictions take heart from a few measures blessed by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. However, they lack optimism about the fate of House Bill 1500, by Rep. Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, which would bar abortions once a fetal hearbeat is detected — like one that became law in Mississippi last week.Cain’s proposal has drawn more than 60 Republican sponsors, and Cain said at its unveiling that this year nationally is the year of the heartbeat bill. But the proposal was referred in February to the House Public Health Committee, which is chaired by veteran Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, an abortion rights supporter capable of bottling up the bill.“We’re assuming that’s the reason it’s dead,” said Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life, referring to Speaker Dennis Bonnen’s decision to send the bill to Thompson’s panel.  Continue reading...

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