Texas Senate votes to tighten teen abortion restrictions

By EVA RUTH MORAVEC
Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - After long, passionate debate, the Texas Senate has voted to tighten abortion rules for Texas teenagers who wish to undergo abortions but can't get the required parental consent.

The Senate preliminarily approved the bill 21-10 Monday. It has already cleared the House, but needs a final Senate vote Tuesday before both chambers can finalize tweaks.

Republican Sen. Charles Perry said the significant changes to the so-called judicial bypass process better protect minors. Texas law has enabled teens to have judge-ordered abortions in extreme cases since 1999.

The state already has some of the toughest abortion restrictions in America. Therefore, limiting the procedure via judicial bypass was one of the few victories the Republican-controlled Legislature could claim this session.

Opponents say the bill unfairly harms young Texans in desperate circumstances.

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