Protesters disrupt Texas debate on abortion

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AUSTIN, Texas — With the Texas Senate poised to pass sweeping abortion restrictions, a protest briefly halted debate Friday night before the chamber’s leader ordered officers to remove those disrupting the proceedings.

Four women tried to chain themselves to a railing in the gallery as senators were about to start closing statements on an abortion bill that has drawn thousands of protesters to the Capitol for weeks. One of the women succeeded in chaining herself to the railing at the front of the overhead gallery, prompting a 10-minute recess. Officers arrested all four women.

When debate resumed, protesters began loudly singing: ‘‘Give choice a chance. All we are saying is give choice a chance.’’ Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst asked officers to remove the group.

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