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Sat May 20, 2017, 09:06 PM

Texas House backs abortion restrictions

Source: San Antonio Express-News

Texas House backs abortion restrictions

By Bobby Cervantes, Austin Bureau Updated 9:29 pm, Friday, May 19, 2017

AUSTIN — The Texas Legislature moved closer Friday to enacting its latest round of restrictions on abortion services, with the House voting largely along party lines to impose new regulations on how providers can dispose of fetal remains and blocking some fetal tissue donations to researchers.

In a 96-47 vote, the House tentatively passed Senate Bill 8 after more than five hours of often emotional and testy debate. Authored by Republican Sen. Charles Schwertner of Georgetown, the bill prohibits health service providers from donating fetal tissue from elective abortions to medical researchers. It also would require health care facilities to dispose of embryonic or fetal tissue by burial or cremation and would enact a state ban on late-term abortions, which already are prohibited nationally.

Rep. Cindy Burkett, the Republican from Sunnyvale who sponsored the bill in the House, said the omnibus legislation is necessary, in part, because the state does not have the authority to enforce existing federal law banning so-called “partial-birth abortions.”

“Recent events have highlighted that the federal ban alone is not sufficient to prosecute such offenses,” Burkett said. “This bill just mirrors what is at the national level.”

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Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Texas-House-backs-abortion-restrictions-11160411.php

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