Texas: Hundreds Flood Capitol as Lawmakers Back Sweeping Anti-Abortion Bill

June 24, 2013
Headlines

Texas state lawmakers have given preliminary approval to some of the country’s strictest anti-abortion restrictions. Hundreds of pro-choice supporters, many wearing orange T-shirts reading "Stand With Texas Women," packed into the Texas capitol building into the early hours of Monday morning as Democrats sought to block Senate Bill 5. Critics say it will shut down 37 out of 42 abortion clinics in Texas, leaving just five clinics across the entire state. The bill would ban abortion after 20 weeks, place restrictions on the pill form of abortion, require providers to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital and force clinics to make costly upgrades in order to meet the standards of ambulatory surgical centers. During hours of heated debate over the bill, Democratic State Rep. Senfronia Thompson displayed a wire coathanger, a symbol of the potentially fatal practices used when safe abortion is illegal or inaccessible, asking her colleagues: "Do you want to return back to the coathanger?"