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Washington D.C., Apr 17, 2019 / 06:01 pm (CNA).- Republicans and Democrats in the Texas legislature voted to strengthen protections for babies born after surviving attempted abortions, but in North Carolina the governor could veto a similar bill.
In the Texas House of Representatives, a 93-1 vote included 12 Democrats voting in favor and 50 declaring themselves “present, not voting.” A similar Senate bill passed with a vote of 21-10, with two Democrats backing the legislation.
Rep - Jeff - Leach - Plano - House
Rep. Jeff Leach of Plano, the House bill’s sponsor, said the legislation is about “protecting innocent life, a baby who is born alive.” He said the bill was an opportunity to unite across party lines, adding, “as much as the issue of abortion has historically divided this country, this state and even this body at times, to me there should be no debate on this issue.” He said the bill adds enforcement to existing law, which in his view does not go far enough, the Dallas Morning News reports.
Democrats favoring the bill included Dallas Rep. John Turner and others who largely represented the heavily Catholic southern Texas.
Turner - Bill - Rights - Circumstance - Campaign
Turner said he did not see the bill as being about reproductive rights, but rather as addressing “an extremely rare circumstance.” In his 2018 campaign he had said he would not vote for legislation that would restrict abortion access.
Houston Democrat Harold Dutton, the sole vote against the bill, urged others to declare themselves “present, not voting.” Dutton charged the legislation was “blatantly false, inflammatory and dangerous.”
Texas - Health - Human - Services - Commission
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission said no infants were reported to be born alive after abortion procedures in Texas from 2013 to 2016. Over 219,000 abortions were performed in the state during that period.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures said that more than 140 infants died in U.S. cases related to induced...
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