Texas House mulls new restrictions on teenage abortions

By EVA RUTH MORAVEC
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Debate has finally begun in the Texas House over whether to tighten restrictions on rules allowing teens to have abortions if they can't get required parental consent.

Victoria Republican Rep. Geanie Morrison's bill would make sweeping changes to the so-called judicial bypass process. It allows girls younger than 18 to get a judge's permission to have an abortion without telling their parents in extreme cases.

Each year, about 300 teens who meet certain criteria are granted a court-ordered abortion. Opponents of Morrison's proposal say the changes would mar a system already working properly, and may endanger girls already in difficult situations.

Texas has some of the nation's toughest abortion restrictions. But the Republican-controlled House is looking for dwindling ways to notch further anti-abortion successes, and thus is targeting judicial bypass.

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