Texas State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte helped Wendy Davis stretch out her filibuster. What's next for the bill's opponents?
SB5, a proposed Texas abortion bill, is back on the state senate floor in Austin, despite state Sen. Wendy Davis’ 11-hour filibuster. The bill would cut almost 50 abortion clinics down to five, require clinics to upgrade their facilities to surgical centers, and ban abortions past 20 weeks of gestation, among other restrictions.
Leticia Van de Putte was one of the key senators who led the way towards challenging Texas Senate Republicans over their rulings and moving the filibuster past the midnight deadline.
“This is about women’s health. Although my Republican colleagues will tell you this is about protecting women’s health, nothing could be further from the truth,” Sen. Van de Putte said. “We know that the Texas Medical Association opposes this bill because they say it would endanger women.”
The nation narrowly favors a 20-week abortion ban, according to a National Journal poll. However, state Sen. Van de Putte suggests that SB5 is about more than just late-term abortions.
“I wish that this bill was only about the 20 week ban, but it’s about much more,” she added. “What makes this such a dangerous bill is the fact that it would require all abortion facilities to go under the rules of surgical centers, even though there is no surgical procedure.”
About 1.5% of abortions take place past 20 weeks of conception, a Guttmacher Institute study shows, and according to Van de Putte, a woman could be out of her home for up to four days in order to reach a facility that can terminate her pregnancy.
“In the majority of cases, most women do not terminate their pregnancies post-12 weeks,” Van de Putte told MSNBC’s Mara Shiavocampo. “The only things that would happen in that 20-week time span are those women who have to make an incredible choice—something terribly wrong with the fetus, something personal with their own health.”
Sen. Van de Putte said that opponents of the abortion bill will continue to use parliamentary inquiries and procedures to delay a senate vote.