Nightly News   |  July 12, 2013

Texas bill one of many state battles to restrict abortion

Despite Wendy Davis’ dramatic filibuster delaying Texas’ abortion bill, the Republican-dominated Texas legislature is expected to support the measure which would ban most abortions for women more than 20 weeks pregnant. Just this year, 17 states passed new measures impacting abortion. NBC’s Kate Snow reports.

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>>> it is going to be a late night in the texas senate , but in the endopoe opponents of abortion are expected to get the bill they want. a new bill governor perry has vowed to sign. this comes after that filibuster by one texas state senator made national headlines. and this movement is hardly limited to texas , as it plays out in a lot of other states. we get our report tonight from our national correspondent kate snow .

>> our choice!

>> reporter: at the state capitol in austin, blue shirts in support of the bill, orange against.

>> for their voices to be heard.

>> reporter: it was just over two weeks ago that democratic state senator wendy davis blocked a vote by standing and talking for nearly 13 hours in her pink sneakers. that filibuster delayed things. but in the end the republican-dominated texas legislature has the upper hand.

>> this bill raises the standard of care in texas .

>> reporter: today davis said she's outraged.

>> it's a huge step backward in terms of health care for women in the state of texas .

>> reporter: the centerpiece of the texas bill is titled "the preborn pain act." it bans most abortions after 20 weeks. nine other states already have similar measures.

>> what we're seeing around texas is really emblematic of what we're seeing across the country in general.

>> reporter: elizabeth nash with the gutmacher institute, a research group that supports abortion rights , says after big republican gains at the state level in the 2010 elections opponents of abortion rights turned their focus to state houses.

>> so in a sense, the idea here is to pile on so many restrictions that abortion access is completely eliminated. without going through the courts and without overturning roe v. wade .

>> reporter: this year 17 states passed new measures that impact abortion. just last week ohio's governor signed a bill that requires doctors to determine if there's a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion and inform the woman about the probability the pregnancy would go to term. many states have regulated clinics providing abortions.

>> you see americans saying regardless of whether they describe themselves as pro life or pro choice , that they want to see common sense kinds of regulations that simply hold the abortion industry accountable.

>> reporter: the texas bill would require many abortion clinics to be upgraded with surgical facilities like you'd find in a hospital. texas 's measure mandates that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital nearby. abortion rights advocates say those rules in this texas bill will force many clinics to close their doors. planned parenthood says all but six of the state's 42 abortion facilities may have to close. those who favor the legislation, though, say that is an exaggeration,