Regional
3:53 pm
Sun June 23, 2013

Texas House Debate Halted By Technicality

A Democrat-led parliamentary tactic has delayed House discussion of hotly debated proposals restricting abortion as time ticks away on Texas' special legislative session.

Rep. Sylvester Turner of Houston used a technicality to derail debate of a separate criminal justice bill until Sunday evening.

That will make it harder for the GOP-controlled chamber to finish that bill and take up another with tough new restrictions on abortion, including after 20 weeks.

The House wants to pass the abortion measure before midnight to give the Senate time to consider it before the 30-day special session ends Tuesday.

But Turner used the House rule book to freeze the House — at least for now.

As the House ground to a halt, hundreds of abortion rights protesters crowded the public gallery and surrounding Capitol.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.