Early Start for Senate Abortion Debate

Capitol doors open at 7am for committee hearing sign up

Another day, another rapid fire committee hearing on abortion rights in Texas
Another day, another rapid fire committee hearing on abortion rights in Texas (Photo by John Anderson)

It'll be an early start for anyone giving testimony on Senate Bill 1 – the new restrictions on reproductive rights and abortion provision – at the Senate Health and Human Services Committee on July 8: Testimony starts at 10am, but sign-up opens at 9am. Expect the lines to be long when the Capitol opens at 7am.

The committee usually either meets in the Senate chamber or room E2.020. This time, they're taking over E1.036, normally assigned to the Senate Finance Committee. That's down in the Capitol Extension (go into the main building, then take the elevators down to E1, and go all the way to the far end of the underground extension.

Last week, when the House State Affairs Committee heard its own version of the bill, speakers were limited to three minutes each, and testimony was cut off at midnight. Tomorrow, the Senate will allow only two minutes per speaker (if you think that's limited, it's pretty clear that Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst wanted a formal hearing with no testimony at all). For anyone planning to hand in written testimony, the committee clerk requests that they provide 20 copies with their name on each.

Republicans are getting gully about reducing abortion access, much of it either following Texas' line or blazing a trail for the Lone Star State's new restrictions. Wisconsin governor Scott Walker has signed a bill requiring transvaginal ultrasounds (much as Texas passed in 2011), but he beat the Texas GOP on the requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges. North Carolina lawmakers went one better, bolting abortion restrictions on an anti-Sharia law bill (making it a GOP twofer). On the national stage, according to the Weekly Standard, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, plans to introduce a 20-week abortion ban in the US Senate soon.

More 83rd Legislature
The End of the Dewhurst Era
The End of the Dewhurst Era
Will the Senate strip the powers of the next lite guv?

Richard Whittaker, June 5, 2014

No Room at the Health Care Inn
No Room at the Health Care Inn
State policies endangering women's lives in the Valley

Jordan Smith, Nov. 12, 2013

More Abortion
Campus Carry Passes, Abortion Insurance Ban Fails
Campus Carry Carries
Dems strike last minute deal after hours of chubbing

Richard Whittaker, May 27, 2015

Senate Votes to Ban Insurance Coverage for Abortion
Senate Bans Abortion Coverage
GOP moves to prevent health insurers from covering abortion

Mary Tuma, May 6, 2015

More by Richard Whittaker
DVDanger: <i>She Who Must Burn</i>
DVDanger: She Who Must Burn
Anti-abortion terror as the new Salem witch trials

Oct. 22, 2016

With Ti West <i>In a Valley of Violence</i>
With Ti West In a Valley of Violence
Director on PTSD, Westerns, and the world's greatest dog

Oct. 21, 2016


83rd Legislature, Abortion, Special Session, Reproductive Rights, Wisconsin, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Abortion Rights

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)