According to State Senator Jose Rodriguez (D) El Paso, Senate Bill 1, the companion bill to House Bill 2, has now been filed as the omnibus anti-choice bill by Hegar and co-authored by Estes and Williams for the 2nd Special Session.
S.B. 1 would ban abortions after 20 weeks, which is contrary to past rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court, and therefore, likely unconstitutional. In addition, the bill requires health clinics that perform abortions to be certified as ambulatory surgery centers. Doctors’ groups and others have deemed these additional building requirements medically unnecessary and extremely costly to implement; it would force closure of all but five of the 42 clinics that perform abortions in Texas, including the two clinics in El Paso.
Other provisions of S.B. 1 substitute political judgment for evidence-based, best medical practices regarding the use of a pill for a medical abortion and place other unnecessary restrictions on doctors and intrude on the doctor-patient relationship. In essence, if passed, S.B. 1 would make it extraordinarily difficult for a woman to have access to a legal, safe abortion in this state.
The arguments for and against will be similar; the difference is the time available for the right-wing to pass it. According to Rodriguez:
At the end of the last special session, the leadership chose to prioritize their narrow ideological agenda rather than pass transportation and criminal justice legislation that had overwhelming bipartisan support. The record clearly shows that Senate leadership sacrificed Senate traditions and twisted the rules — including a possible attempt to alter a government document — to pass a bill that ultimately endangers women’s health.
Now, they want a “do over.” But, the fact remains that this legislation is still as bad for women as it was last week. Along with the thousands of Texans who have made their voices heard, we will continue to do everything we can to fight this assault on Texas women.
So, here we go.