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AUSTIN (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — New anti-abortion efforts in Texas that would ban a commonly used second-trimester abortion procedure and prohibit fetal tissue donation for research are close to clearing the Senate.
The measures given preliminary approval Wednesday are two of the most prominent anti-abortion bills in Texas this year.
Republicans are pushing efforts they say protect fetuses, which comes after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a major Texas anti-abortion law last summer that was sold as protecting women’s health.
One bill bans a procedure known as dilation and evacuation, which abortion-rights supporters contend is the safest and most common procedure used in second-trimester abortions.
Similar bans in Alabama, Kansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma have been put on hold due to legal challenges.
Opponents say the measures prevent doctors from using their best medical judgment.
Lt. Governor Dan Patrick released this statement on the measure:
“Texans count on us to ensure that the sanctity and dignity of life is protected. In the wake of discovering the notorious Planned Parenthood videos last year, in which employees were caught callously discussing the procurement of aborted baby body parts, the Texas Senate is taking aggressive steps to criminalize these despicable acts. They have also taken an unshakable stand against partial birth abortion.
“I congratulate Sen. Schwertner on the passage of SB 8 and thank him for working to protect the dignity and sanctity of life and putting an end to the sale of fetal tissue in Texas.”
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)