FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 06/24/2013
REP. SIMMONS VOTES TO SUPPORT PRO-LIFE LEGISLATION SB 5
SB 5 will increase protections for women and unborn children at abortion facilities
AUSTIN – This morning, the Texas House passed Senate Bill 5, legislation relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers and facilities. The legislation was filed by Senator Glenn Hegar in response to Governor Perry's addition of pro-life issues to the call of the special session.
At 20 weeks post-fertilization, scientific studies conclude that unborn children are capable of feeling pain. SB 5 aims to protect unborn children who can feel pain by prohibiting abortion at or after 20 weeks post-fertilization.
“There is nothing more important that we can do as legislators than to protect innocent life. One of the few essential roles of government is to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and there is no one more innocent than an unborn child,” said Representative Simmons. “I fully support, and voted for, this legislation that will eliminate abortions beyond 20 weeks - a time at which scientific studies show that pain can be felt. I appreciated working with my colleagues, to pass this important legislation.”
SB 5 also increases abortion facility safety standards and requires physicians who perform abortions to be qualified to treat life-threatening complications. The bill requires physicians who perform abortions to have active admitting privileges at a hospital that provides obstetrical or gynecological health care services within 30 miles from the location where the procedure is performed.
“We must also enact safeguards to protect women. This includes ensuring that facilities performing abortions are subject to the same standards as other facilities that perform surgical procedures, and the doctors who perform abortions have privileges at a local hospital. I am thankful that those concerned about women’s health joined with me and others supporting this common sense legislation making medical procedures safer for women,” concluded Simmons.
Senate Bill 5 now returns to the Senate for final consideration by tomorrow night, the end of the special session.