Texas lawmakers approve abortion restrictions

by Chris Tomlinson
Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, center, sponsor of Senate Bill 5, is flanked by fellow Republicans during the second reading of the abortion bill on the House floor of the Texas State Capitol in Austin, Texas, on Sunday, June 23, 2013. If passed, the bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks, require that they take place in surgical centers, and restrict where and when women can take abortion-inducing pills, would force 37 out of 42 abortion clinics in Texas to close and undergo millions of dollars in upgrades. (AP Photo/Statesman.com, Rodolfo Gonzalez)

(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. 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 clinics in the state.

Senate Democrats can still stage a filibuster until the session ends at midnight Tuesday night.

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