Thomas Roberts   |  July 01, 2013

State Sen. Van de Putte: Texas abortion bill ‘dangerous’

The Texas Legislature is reconvening Monday for a second special session to give the Republican majority another shot at passing one of the most restrictive abortion measures in the country. Texas State Senator Leticia Van de Putte gives MSNBC’s Mara Shiavocampo her take on the bill.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> is bigger in texas . as lawmakers convene for a second special texas to take up a sweeping abortion ban. after last week's massive show of opposition, republicans are vowing to double their efforts to get that bill passed this time around. even the state senator who successfully blocked it with an 11-hour filibuster last week is now acknowledging that this second fight will be different.

>> they'll probably be a little bit smarter about how they try to move this bill. what they now have to confront is that the eyes of texas , the eyes of the country are watching. and they are going to be held accountable for the decisions they make in this process.

>> earlier i spoke with who backed up davis in her efforts to block that bill.

>> thanks for being here, senator.

>> thank you.

>> this issue was so important to you that you rushed back to austin on the same day as your father's funeral. let's listen to what you said on the floor last week.

>> at what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?

>> senator, what's really at stake here? why do you think it's so important?

>> the issue is not just important for texas women , but for the men who support the women in their life. this is about women 's health. and although my republican colleagues will tell you this is about protecting women 's health, nothing could be further from the truth. we know that the texas medical association oppose this bill because they say it would endanger women .

>> now, last week the timing of the legislative session actually worked in favor of opponents of the bill because it was introduced late and the vote was scheduled just hours before the session ended. but this time it's coming early and it's coming fast. how do you plan to fight it?

>> well, we will continue to fight using parliamentary inquiries and procedures that are allowed in any legislative body . but what is going to be very important is that citizens be heard. last session the first special session testimony was cut off. there were hundreds of people who had testified and signed up and more who got cut off. and when you cut off hundreds of people at a hearing, you can only expect them to come to the capital during final passage. so i anticipate that the citizens of this state are going to engage and come testify at the capital.

>> now, you wrote an op-ed last week about the bill. i want to read a bit of that. here's what you said. i don't see how limiting access and choice is anything other than hardship and harassment especially to the poor. if this does get signed into law, where do you go from there?

>> well, i really don't know. especially for any of the women that live west of i-35. texas is a huge state. and the way that the procedures and the laws are written, she would have to -- any person who really wants to terminate their pregnancy would have to come to the metro areas and be out of work about four days. this is a huge burden. my fear is we'll return to the days where women who were desperate resorted to those procedures that put their life at risk. this is about women 's health. it is their constitutional right to have a say so in their own reproductive lives.

>> and senator, there have been some recent polls on this. and a gallup poll this year, only 27% of respondents believe second term abortions should be legal. how do you respond to those who say the bills like the one in texas are carrying out the bill of the people?

>> i wish this bill was only about the 20 week ban. but, in fact, it's much more. what makes this such a dangerous bill is the fact it would require all abortion facilities to go under the rules of surgical centers. even though there is no surgical procedure . and most of the cases, women will take a pill and then 48 hours later they take another pill. there's no incisions or invasion of your body. so what happens is that you reduce the number of facilities from over almost 40 to 5 facilities. that's what the difficulty is. i've been told planned parenthood doesn't even do termination of pregnancy past 12 weeks. in the majority of cases, most women do not terminate their pregnancies post-12 weeks. it's the first trimester. the only things that would happen in that 20 weeks time span are those women who have to make an incredible choice. something terribly wrong with the fetus. something personal with their own health. statistics will tell you that most of these termination of pregnancy, the abortions occur in the first trimester already.

>> all right. texas state senator leticia van de putte . thanks for your perspective.

>> thank you.