After the U.S. Supreme Court last summer struck down much of Texas tough 2013 abortion restrictions, top Republicans switched strategies. Rather than focusing on women's health, like in the past, they are now promoting proposed legislation focused on safeguarding fetuses.
Last week, the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee spent hours hearing support for and objections against three such proposals. One mostly bans a common second-trimester abortion procedure, "dilation and evacuation," and is similar to laws that federal courts blocked in Alabama, Oklahoma, Kansas and Louisiana. Another requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated, and the third bars fetal tissue donations, among other things.
The committee convenes again Wednesday and could pass all three bills on to the full Senate.
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Abbott didn't make abortion restrictions a legislative priority, meaning no bills on the issue can be approved by the Legislature until 60 days into the session -- still about three weeks away.
But passing the proposals quickly through committee nonetheless leaves them poised to speed through the full Senate as soon as possible.