Texas Senate passes abortion legislation

Senate filibuster

Credit: Getty Images

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) looks over the Senate rules trying to figure how to end the Democrats' attempt to defeat the anti-abortion bill SB5 by a filibuster on the last day of the legislative special session June 25, 2013 in Austin. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

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by CHRIS TOMLINSON

Associated Press

Posted on July 13, 2013 at 8:50 AM

Updated Saturday, Jul 13 at 8:53 AM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The Texas Senate has passed tough new abortion restrictions, sending them to Gov. Rick Perry to sign into law.

The vote came after weeks of protests and rallies drew thousands to the Capitol and made Texas the focus of the national abortion debate.

Republicans used their majority to pass the bill nearly three weeks after a filibuster by Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis and an outburst by abortion-rights supporters in the Senate gallery disrupted a deadline vote.

Called back for a new special session, lawmakers took up the bill again as supporters and opponents held rallies and jammed the Capitol to testify at hearings.

The bill requires doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, allows abortions only at surgical centers and bans abortions after 20 weeks.

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