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Texas House approves abortion bill


An antiabortion woman continues to pray as abortion-rights supporters march around her in Austin on Monday evening July 8, 2013. (Emily Ng/AP/The Daily Texan)

The Texas state House has given final approval to the controversial antiabortion legislation that has prompted two special sessions of the legislature.

The bill was passed, amid loud protests from spectators, on a 96 to 49 vote.

“The tremendous outpouring of support for this legislation has demonstrated how Texas stands for life, and I commend everyone who wore blue, turned out and spoke up in support of life in our state," Gov. Rick Perry (R) said in a statement. "Now is not the time to waver, however, as the Senate continues its important work in support of women's health and protecting the lives of our most vulnerable Texans.”

The overwhelming victory was not a surprise, but it moves the action to the state Senate, where Democrats successfully filibustered the legislation two weeks ago.

Opponents have conceded that they will likely not be able to stop the bill again, but thousands have rallied in Austin to voice their dissent. They have been met by antiabortion activists expressing support for the bill. Supporters wore blue; opponents wore orange.

The bill bans abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, while also imposing new limits on abortion clinics, doctors and pills.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.

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