Passing the bill was a formality at this point, but getting one chamber’s bill through the other may be problematic.
The House’s measure will now be sent to a Senate committee. The Senate’s version that was sent to the House has yet to be referred to committee.
Both authors, Rep. Sid Miller in the House and Sen. Dan Patrick in the Senate, have said they will not budge.
“Somebody has to blink,” Miller said. “It’s a stare down at this point.”
Patrick promised his fellow senators during the Senate’s sonogram debate that he would not accept a House version that was either “watered-down” or “on steroids.”
Miller said that he does not think that the two hour waiting period after the woman has the sonogram, which the Senate bill would require, is sufficient. He said the 24 hour waiting period in the House bill would allow the woman to “pray about it or visit with her family.”
He also said he would not consider creating an exception for women who were victims of rape or incest. The Senate bill has such exceptions.
Who could have ever guessed that a bill like this would come down to a macho staring contest? Obviously, the best outcome is for Miller and Patrick to act like a pair of Zaxes for the rest of the session so that neither bill ever passes, but I don’t have much faith in that happening. One way or another, I expect one or both of them to be forced to give in and compromise. But in the meantime, allow me to say “Hold your ground, gentlemen! Compromise is for wussies and losers! Stand firm and don’t let that other fellow run you over! It’s a matter of principle!” Hey, it’s worth a shot.