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HB 2 Amendments: Proposed and Rejected

Fri., July 12, 2013

House Bill 2 by Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, R-Parker, would ban abortion after 20 weeks except in very limited circumstances; require doctors to follow a legislatively specified protocol, including mandated dosing levels when administering RU-486, the medical abortion drug; would require all abortion-providing clinics to transform into expensive ambulatory surgical centers (although standard abortion procedures are not medically considered surgery); and would mandate that doctors who perform abortions have hospital admitting privileges within 30 miles of each facility (difficult to acquire, and unnecessary for outpatient procedures) where they perform the procedure. – Jordan Smith

Below is a list of amendments offered, almost exclusively by Democratic lawmakers, in an effort to mitigate the harsh effects of a bill that many consider on-its-face unconstitutional.

On second reading, Tuesday, July 9, the following amendments were offered – and summarily rejected ("tabled"):

Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston -- exception to 20-week ban for victims of rape/incest -- tabled, 90-54

Rep. Sarah Davis, R-West University Place – exception to 20-week ban for victims of rape/incest likely to inflict great bodily harm or death to selves – tabled, 89-56

Rep. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio – reimburse women for travel beyond 30 miles if bill leads to clinic closures – tabled, 93-51

Rep. Craig Eiland, D-Galveston – excise everything from HB 2 except 20-week ban – tabled, 85-52

Rep. Rafael Anchia, D-Dallas – clarify exception related to health of mother, ensure physician discretion respected – tabled, 88-57

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin – require docs to have admitting privileges at hospital or written transfer agreement; bring HB 2 provisions in line with current requirements for all other ASC doctors – tabled, 86-55 and 92-54, respectively

Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston – if can't get admitting privileges because of a hospital's written policy denying privileges, can't be penalized – tabled 89-54

Rep. José Menéndez, D-San Antonio – recognizing PTSD and other severe mental health issues as exception to 20-week ban – tabled, 91-53

Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio – mandate comprehensive sex education and exempt 20-week abortion ban for minors who didn't receive comprehensive sex ed – tabled, 94-44

Rep. Abel Herrero, D-Robstown – require doctors to provide individualized, evidence-based medical care to women; allow doctors to decide dosage level of RU-486 and protocol for delivery of the drug, based on individual assessment of each patient – tabled, 93-53

Rep. Boris Miles, D-Houston – allow medical abortion to be administered up to 63 days of pregnancy, to lessen need for surgical abortions – tabled, 90-53

Rep. Mary González, D-Clint – provide exception to ASC regulations for rural or remote clinics greater than 50 miles from another facility – 91-54

Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin – extend protections of Baby Moses Law, extending time up to one year for surrendering unwanted child – tabled, 90-53

Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston – state pay for upgrades to make clinics ASCs – tabled, 95-51

Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin – compromise on ASC regs: abortion clinics be required to meet quality assurance standards, but not physical plant standards – tabled, 92-54

Rep. Nicole Collier, D-Fort Worth – remove criminal penalties, and require finding of "gross negligence" by medical board for sanctions for doctors who exercise reasonable medical judgement, but whose actions may fall outside provisions of HB 2 – tabled, 94-51

Rep. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio – loser pay provision: if bill is challenged and overturned, Texas pays legal fees for challenger at every step of the process – tabled, 97-49

Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston – appropriate revenue to fund comprehensive study on how to prevent maternal and fetal death – tabled, 92-54

Rep. Harold Dutton Jr., D-Houston – abolish death penalty to create equal "pro-life" treatment across state law – tabled, 96-49

Rep. Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto – remove medically inaccurate information linking abortion to breast cancer from Woman's Right to Know pamphlet, which must be provided to women seeking abortion – tabled, 93-54

Rep. Dawnna Dukes, D-Austin – clarify that perinatal care is covered for women denied abortion after 20 weeks; also allow for welfare, food stamps, and Medicaid eligibility for mother and baby after birth; increase eligibility for Medicaid – tabled, 95-50

Rep. Abel Herrero, D-Robstown – require state to provide a minimum one-year of state funding to clinics that have ceased to provide abortion care because of provisions of HB 2, to ensure the clinics will remain open to provide family planning and basic reproductive health services to women in need – tabled, 94-51

On third reading, Wednesday, July 10, the following amendment was offered – and, once again, rejected by GOP lawmakers:

Rep. Ruth Jones McClendon, D-San Antonio – add adoption assistance for women forced to carry beyond 20 weeks – tabled, 91-59

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