Texas Republicans have voted to move forward with new abortion restrictions after limiting testimony at a public hearing and imposing strict security precautions.
On a party-line vote, the Republican majority approved the bill early Wednesday and sent it to the full Texas House for a vote next week.
Gov. Rick Perry has called on the Legislature to move quickly after he called them into a second special session to pass the bill that will limit when, where and how a woman may obtain an abortion.
"The legislation that they're proposing to pass would turn back the hands of time--which seems like something they're really good at," abortion rights activists Angela Goss said
More than 3,500 people came to the Capitol and registered a position on the bill. More than 1,000 signed up to testify, but fewer than 100 people had a chance to express their views. The top Republican on the committee limited testimony to eight hours.
This time around, anti-abortion activists are also doing more to be seen.
“Not sure if we're outnumbered or not, but it definitely looks like there's a lot if blue here today," anti-abortion activist Bonnie Pendergrass said.
Testimony was cut off at 12:01 a.m., as promised by the committee chair. Democrat Rep. Sylvester Turner said the timeline was an unfair “artificial deadline.”
"I do believe that it is wrong, to cut them off. I respect you as being the chair but I think it's wrong what we're doing. I think we are pushing things through,” Rep. Turner said.
The House could hear the bill on the full floor as soon as next week.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.