Texas GOP lawmakers settle abortion language fight

June 24, 2011 2:47:31 AM PDT
Texas House Republicans say they have settled a disagreement among themselves on abortion language that had delayed a key health care reform bill.

A measure that overhauls Medicaid also bans state funding for hospital districts that finance abortions except in cases where the life of the mother is at risk, and where a fetus has a severe abnormality.

That stalled the measure Tuesday, when a group of lawmakers led by Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, complained that the language on fetal abnormalities was too broad.

But Hughes said Thursday that modified language produced by a conference committee and defining a fetus abnormality as "incompatible with life outside the womb" was now narrow enough to break the impasse. He said, "we have a deal."

The House should take up the bill Friday.