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Texas passes restrictive abortion bill

26 June 2013, 11:21

Austin — Texas Republicans have passed new abortion restrictions expected to close almost every abortion clinic in the second most populous US state.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted for the bill while hundreds of protesters screamed from the gallery. Reporters and Democrats saw the voting begin after midnight, but Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst said it began just before.

Texas' special legislative session ended at midnight, and Democrats spent most of the day using procedural manoeuvres to delay a final vote on the bill. Republicans cited rules to eventually force a vote on the legislation.

The bill bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requires that all procedures take place in a surgical centre.

Doctors who perform abortions would also need admitting privileges at a hospital within 48km. The surgical centre requirement would shut down 37 of Texas' 42 abortion clinics.

- AP

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