AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – State Senate Republicans insist proposed new restrictions on abortion facilities are designed to protect women’s health.

But a tweet Wednesday from the account of Republican Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst said what Democrats have claimed all along: the plan is an attempt to shut down clinics and all but ban abortion in Texas.

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Senate Republicans Tuesday night passed sweeping new restrictions on how Texas abortion clinics operate. Critics say the changes would force most to close.

A tweet from the @DavidHDewhurst Twitter account included a map from an abortion rights group showing clinic locations that says “it would essentially ban abortion statewide.”

“We fought to pass SB5 thru the Senate last night, & this is why!” the tweet said. (see below)

A few hours after posting the original tweet, Dewhurst, who has been the lieutenant governor since 2003, sent another message saying, “I am unapologetically pro-life AND a strong supporter of protecting women’s heath.”

In January Dewhurst joined Governor Rick Perry and Attorney General Greg Abbott in Austin for an anti-abortion rally marking the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision.

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A telephone message left with Dewhurst’s office was not immediately returned.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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