HOUSTON (AP) - Texas abortion providers fear stringent restrictions passed by the Legislature could force all but five of the state's clinics to close, possibly leaving only a handful of facilities across the vast state.
The legislation passed early Saturday allows abortions only in surgical centers, dictates when abortion pills are taken and bans abortions after 20 weeks unless the woman's life is in imminent danger. It also requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a hospital.
Abortion opponents say the new rules guarantee better health care.
Abortion-rights advocates argue the high cost of converting clinics into surgical centers will force more than 35 facilities to close, leaving only a few in large cities. They also fear the closures could create a backlog that will cause women to miss the 20-week deadline.
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