Texas House OKs new abortion restrictions, then backtracks

By EVA RUTH MORAVEC
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas House briefly approved new abortion restrictions involving fetuses with severe abnormalities before a sweeping health bill was quickly withdrawn.

The unexpected vote Thursday marked a new push by Republicans to further tighten Texas abortion restrictions that are already among the toughest in the nation.

Abortions are banned in Texas after 20 weeks except when the fetus has severe health defects. While the Republican-controlled House debated a mundane health agency bill, state Rep. Matt Schaefer successfully tacked on a rider that would end that exception.

The entire bill was later pulled down after Democrats launched technical objections.

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is strongly anti-abortion but the issue has not been a priority in his first session.

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