would go where ever they needed to. I also do not see why an abortion clinic
needs to be in a convenient location. Let us ensure that women no matter what
their decisions are receive medical care that they deserve."
Huntsville resident Tara Burnett in the same post supported the more stringent standards abortion clinics and doctors are now required to follow.
"It's insuring that all facilities and doctors are licensed and meeting standards," Burnett said. "What rights of a woman does that take away?"
Democratic Texas lawmakers stood in opposition of the bill since day one. The most famous, Sen. Wendy Davis, stood for nearly 13 hours to filibuster the bill during regular session in June, which failed.
However, this time the sheer number of Republicans overwhelmed the Democrats in both legislative chambers. More than 2,000 individuals packed the Capitol building, most were against the bill. Many opponents of the bill used #StandWithTexasWomen in tweets and Facebook posts as a sign of support.
The main criticisms of the bill from Democratic lawmakers lie in the limits on practice and 20-week ban.
They argue the 20-week ban is scientifically unfounded and violates the U.S. Supreme Court decision from 1974, Roe v. Wade.
"There will be a lawsuit. I promise you," Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas) said on the Senate floor.
In the decision, the Court ruled women have the right to have abortions before the child is viable outside of the womb, or between 22 to 24 weeks. Federal courts across the nation have already struck down similar measures in other states.
Republican lawmakers brought in several doctors who said the ability to feel pain was possible at the 20-week mark, but that has been heavily disputed by medical journals across the nation. The Texas Medical Association, Texas Hospital Association and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology all voiced opposition to the bill.
Chris Webb Black Edwards said the opposition by the medical groups highlights the partisan divide.
"TMA, THA and the AMA are against the bill," he said. "This has nothing to do with making it safer. It is all politically motivated and in the long run will hurt women."
Diann Vandivort said the strict regulations would limit availability to those who need it.
"The 'standards' will force all but (five) clinics to close," she said. "A lot of women cannot afford to travel 9 hours."
The limitations on practice would force 37 of 42 state abortion clinics to close. The five remaining would be in Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and two in Houston. Those, according to Associated Press reports, may even be endangered due to other requirements on the facility's structure.
The mass reduction in number of clinics would, at current demand according to the Huffington Post, would increase the number of patients a doctor would need to see to more than 40 a day. Opponents of the bill argue this would increase waiting time for appointments and could possibly make women wait past the 20-week mark.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner, a Washington-based firm, released a poll that more clearly asked respondents about a bill similar to the one passed. The results showed 52 percent of respondents opposed the bill. That poll, however, has come under fire from fact-checking organizations like PolitiFact for a number of questions that prompted respondents to certain ideas.
Cecile Richards, the daughter of former Gov. Anne Richards and president of Planned Parenthood, said in a press conference moments before the final vote that Texas Republicans may face trouble in the upcoming elections.
"All they have done is built a committed group of people across this state who are outraged about the treatment of women and the lengths to which this Legislature will go to take women's health care away," she said.
Because of her now-famous filibuster, Sen. Davis has hinted at a possible run for the Texas governorship in the 2014 election. She will likely face either Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott or the Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who incidentally was the chair of the Senate during the abortion debates.
Democrats have not won a statewide seat in Texas since 1994, the longest such losing streak in the nation.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
(c)2013 The Huntsville Item (Huntsville, Texas)
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Distributed by MCT Information Services
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