Texas Senate passes stricter abortion measures

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Women seeking an abortion in Texas may have a more regulated experience after the state Senate’s approval of new rules on Tuesday for facilities and doctors performing the procedure. 

In a 20-10 vote late Tuesday night, Republican senators overpowered Democrats and passed stricter abortion measures. SB 5, by state Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, passed with only one Democrat voting in favor. The bill will now go to the Texas House of Representatives for consideration.

New measures include requiring abortions be performed in an outpatient surgical center rather than an office or clinic, insisting doctors closely monitor effects of abortion-inducing drugs and requiring doctors have admitting privileges at a hospital nearby in case complications arise from the procedure.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry added abortion to the list of special session items earlier this month.

Critics of the bill say it will make it harder for women to obtain abortions in Texas, but proponents say it will make the procedure safer.