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El Paso watches Texas Senate decide on controversial abortion bill

Lyda Ness Garcia stands watching the Texas Senate debate HB-2.She and other mothers apart of the pro-choice organization Stand With El Paso Women, hold their breath, hoping the Senate rejects the bill. The law would require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals, only allow abortions in surgical centers and bans abortions after 20 weeks.

“I’m anxious,”Ness-Garcia said.

Ness-Garcia, along with thousands of people across the state oppose this bill. Over 2,000 people packed in the Capitol Friday, some protestors bringing tampons, jars of feces and urine into the gallery.

Security confiscated those items, hoping to keep order, something the Texas House did not have during their first special session, delaying the vote.

This time, protesters are being closely watched, and Senate Republicans hold a 19-12 advantage, giving pro-life advocate and member of 40 Days of Life in El Paso– Gabriella Frederico hope her own protesting in Austin was worthwhile.

“A lot of women say its my body, it’s my choice,” said Frederico. “Of course it’s your body, but there’s a 50 percent chance that the body inside of her — that different entity — is a female, is a women. What about her rights?”

Frederico, who found a discarded fetus in the trash years ago, said an unborn baby can live outside the womb at 20 weeks.

“They can feel pain,” Frederico said.

But Ness-Garcia, a mother of three, said this bill isn’t just about abortion. She said it would lead to the closing of a majority of women’s health clinics, and if the bill is passed, the nearest clinic for El Paso women would be in San Antonio.

“This is not a decision for anyone other than women and their family, their faith and doctors,” Ness-Garcia said.”This is not something that should be legislated.”

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