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"On the first day of the Texas legislature's filing period for the 85th legislative session, Republican Rep. Matt Schaefer introduced a proposed amendment to ban third trimester abortions in cases of fetal anomalies. The measure would amend the state's health code to restrict abortion even when a fetus has been diagnosed with "a severe and irreversible abnormality," limiting patients' right to terminate pregnancies even if infants are medically certain to die after birth."

The proposed amendment targets late-term abortions, or abortions that occur after 20 weeks gestation. Such procedures are already regulated in the state, and include exceptions for pregnancies that are life-threatening to the mother, determined to be non-viable or in cases of fetal anomalies — but that last part would change if Schaefer's amendment passes.

Reproductive rights activists maintain that such amendments could impinge upon the rights of some of the most vulnerable abortion patients. The overwhelming majority of abortions — like, more than 98% — occur before 21 weeks gestation, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; those that occur after tend to happen due to devastating fetal abnormalities that aren't detectable until later in a pregnancy.

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