Abortion Rights Advocates Decry Texas House Legislation

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AUSTIN, Texas — Abortion rights advocates in Texas are pushing back against state legislation they say would limit a woman's right to choose.

Representatives from a number of abortion rights groups showed up at the Capitol Thursday armed with signed petitions -- pressing House lawmakers to keep anti-abortion measures from becoming law.

"I just think that they're super, super out of touch with the real needs of Texans," said Lucy Stein of Progress Texas.

Abortion rights advocates are taking issue with several bills that have passed out of the House State Affairs Committee. One, Senate Bill 258, would require fetal remains be buried or cremated. Another, Senate Bill 25, would prevent wrongful birth lawsuits.

Those at the Capitol Thursday say these proposals would limit access to abortion. ​

But even with several bills primed to go to the floor, some Republican lawmakers in the House say enough hasn't been done to stop abortions in Texas.

"We should be hearing conservative, Christian legislation, and it's not happening and it's disappointing," said Republican Representative Tony Tinderholt.

Tinderholt has a bill that would make abortion a crime in Texas. But like several other pieces of stalled anti-abortion legislation, his proposal hasn't made it out of committee.

"Bottom line is: we want to stop abortion in the state of Texas, and we're passing bills that deal with emojis," Tinderholt said. "[That] doesn't pass the common-sense test."

While anti-abortion groups are frustrated at the state level, they praised President Trump's actions Thursday allowing companies to opt out of contraceptive care to employees because of religious beliefs.

But abortion rights groups say it's an attack on women.

"Even though they've pursued these really extreme policies in the past, this session we're seeing these policies pick up steam because they feel cover from a president who is just as extreme as they are," Stein said.

Both sides have less than a month to try to pass or push back on reproductive rights legislation.

One is similar to a house bill preventing parents from suing doctors if their child is born with a disability, and the other would limit the use of dilation and evacuation abortions. ​

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