Texas lawmakers debate abortion restrictions

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AUSTIN, Texas — Republicans armed with Bible verses and Democrats carrying coat hangers are debating some of the strictest abortion regulations in the country as time runs out on the Texas special legislative session.

Democrats were supported by hundreds of women's rights demonstrators in audience as they tried to stall the legislation early Monday morning.

The measure would ban abortions after 20th week of pregnancy, require doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and limit abortions to surgical centers. Supporters say the bill will raise the standard of women's health care, but opponents point out the bill would shut down 37 of 42 abortion clinics in the state.

If the House can delay long enough, Senate Democrats can stage a filibuster until the session ends at midnight Tuesday.