You can now read 10 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The Boston Globe

Nation

Texas House passes abortion bill; Senate next stop

Opponents of the Texas abortion bill protested outside the state House on Wednesday.

Eric Gay/Associated Press

Opponents of the Texas abortion bill protested outside the state House on Wednesday.

AUSTIN, Texas — A proposal that would make Texas one of the nation’s toughest places to get an abortion won swift approval Wednesday in the state House, sending it on to the Senate, where a filibuster and raucous protests derailed Republican efforts to pass it nearly two weeks earlier.

There is little Democrats can do to stop the measure this time in the GOP-controlled Legislature, but they are seeking to create a legislative record that opponents can use to challenge it in federal court on constitutional grounds. Democrats also hope to use women’s health issues to win more seats in 2014.

Continue reading below

It was the third time the House had passed the limits on where, when, and how women can obtain the procedure. Governor Rick Perry called lawmakers back into a second special session after the bill failed to reach the full Senate during the regular session and a filibuster there kept it from becoming law in the first special session.

All but one Republican voted for the bill, along with four Catholic Democrats. Protesters both for and against the measure have marched on the Capitol, filling marathon committee meetings and floor debates. Opponents wore orange, while supporters wore blue, and national activists from both sides of the abortion debate staged rallies on the State House steps.

‘‘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,’’ Perry said in a statement Wednesday. ‘‘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 Senate could cast a final vote as early as Friday.

Lawmakers spent more than 10 hours debating the measure Tuesday, and Republicans rejected every attempt to amend the bill. Hundreds of protesters in the Capitol rotunda after the vote chanted, ‘‘Shame on you!’’

Continue reading below

The bill requires doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, only allows abortions in surgical centers, and bans abortions after 20 weeks.

Representative Ruth McClendon, a Democrat from San Antonio, made one last attempt to amend the bill Wednesday to add funding for the Adoption Assistance Program, which provides financial assistance to families that adopt children in the foster care system. Other Democrats said that if the bill passes, the number of unintended pregnancies would increase and place greater demand on the foster system.

‘‘If we don’t adopt this amendment, then we are saying that we don’t care about the children of Texas,’’ she said.

But the bill’s author Representative Jody Laubenberg, a Republican from Parker, said she opposed all amendments to her bill. She said the Legislature had appropriated enough money for foster children.

‘‘I am proud of the step we’ve taken to protect both babies and women. I think it speaks volumes about who we are as humanity,’’ Laubenberg said.

Planned Parenthood took their Stand With Texas Women campaign on the road Tuesday, rallying more than 1,100 supporters in downtown Houston to oppose the measure.

You have reached the limit of 10 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week