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House Members Pulling Women's Health Amendments

Amid Thursday's budget debate in the House, some Democratic and Republican members of the House have agreed to pull some divisive amendments related to women's health.

Medical assistant Alesia Bolden checks Nereyda Penaloza's vital signs during a visit to Women's Health at CommUnityCare, a federally qualified health center, in Austin, Texas.

While the Texas House began working through 267 amendments on the proposed budget Thursday morning, Democratic and Republican House members confirmed that potentially divisive amendments related to funding for women’s health are being withdrawn as part of a bipartisan truce.

“Both sides are standing down,” said state Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola.

Several of the amendments filed last week focused on the level of funding spent on women’s health services and “alternatives to abortion.” Several such amendments from state Reps. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, and an amendment by Dwayne Bohac, R-Houston, were among those being pulled down, members confirmed. 

"We're trying to prevent women's health from continuing to be a political football," Farrar said of the truce.

“I think there’s been a sincere effort to not waste time on things we know won’t pass,” said state Rep. Phil King, R-Weatherford. “I think there’s been negotiations like there always is, ‘Hey, if y’all don’t go forward with this, we won’t go forward with that.’”

State Rep. Yvonne Davis, D-Dallas, said amendments were pulled out of a desire to avoid unconstructive debates. Others were also pulled because the rules set up around the budget bill made them susceptible to a parliamentary tactic called a point of order that would block votes on them.

“We’re just sticking with public policy, things that will improve the direction of the state,” Davis said.

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