(AP)—Republicans armed with Bible verses have given preliminary approval to some of the strictest abortion regulations in the country as time runs out on the Texas special legislative session.
Democrats were supported by hundreds of demonstrators as they stalled the legislation for 15 hours. Republicans voted to cease debate and vote early Monday morning. They still need to take another later Monday.
If passed, the measure would ban abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy, require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and limit abortions to surgical centers. Supporters say the bill will improve women's health care, but opponents argue the bill will shut down 37 of 42 abortion clinics in the state.
Senate Democrats can still stage a filibuster until the session ends at midnight Tuesday night.