Bill Restricting Abortion for Some Minors Gets First Approval from Texas Senate

A bill that would add restrictions to how minors can bypass the state’s parental consent law to get an abortion was approved by the Texas Senate on Monday. What’s called the “judicial bypass bill” received plenty of roadblocks from opponents, however.

By Veronica ZaragoviaMay 26, 2015 9:13 am

This story originally appeared on KUT News

Before the bill was even brought up for a vote, opponents in the Senate had hours’ worth of questions about what the bill would require a minor and a judge to do.

For example, a minor would have to speak with the judge in person, in the county she lives in and a judge would have to use clear and convincing evidence to bypass parental rights, a higher standard than the current preponderance of evidence.

State Sen. Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat, asked State Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) about his bill’s goals.

“One of your goals is to reduce the number of abortions. Is that one of the goals of your parental notification and judicial bypass bill?”

But Sen. Perry said his bill is about clarity for judges and protecting minors.

“We have an obligation to ensure processes are in place, regardless of the people that are in those processes,” Perry said, later on. “That to the best of our ability we’ve tightened up any potential loopholes, no matter what the issue is…Is there an opportunity to make it better for the protection of the minor?”

Democrats attempted to bring the bill down all together with points of order and modify it with amendments, like providing exceptions for victims of incest. It still needs final passage before heading back to the House for their approval of the revised bill.