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May 20, 2003     (512) 463-0300

Abortion Bill Requiring 24-Hour Wait Gains Preliminarily Approval

Senator Tommy Williams
Senator Tommy Williams of The Woodlands and Senator Eliot Shapleigh of El Paso debate CSHB 15, which will require a woman to wait 24 hours before receiving an abortion.

Austin - Women will have to wait twenty-four hours to consider their decision to receive an abortion under a measure given tentative approval by the Senate today.

The Committee Substitute to House Bill (CSHB) 15 requires women to view certain informational materials published by the Texas Department of Health before the procedure can be performed. The materials include a list of services available to assist women through pregnancy and color pictures representing the development of the child at two-week gestational increments.

The bill, referred to as the Women's Right to Know Act by Senate sponsor Tommy Williams of the Woodlands, also requires that an abortion of a fetus 16 weeks or older be performed only at an ambulatory surgical center or a hospital licensed to perform abortions.

The bill passed by a 21-10 vote of the Senate, with Democrats and Republicans voting on both sides of the issue. The Senate is scheduled to vote on final passage of CSHB 15 tomorrow.

Legislation was also approved that would prohibit any new billboards from being installed along certain Texas roads. Senate Bill (SB) 511, authored by Flower Mound Senator Jane Nelson, creates a program for designating specific highways as State Scenic Byways.

Other legislation passed include:

The Senate will reconvene Wednesday, May 21, 2003, at 11:00 a.m.

Session video and all other webcast recordings can be accessed from the Senate website's audio and video archive pages.