AUSTIN – Texas lawmakers in a special session this week passed a flurry of bills aimed at restricting abortion providers.

So far, four bills viewed as anti-abortion passed in the Senate and one passed early Friday in the House. For any of the bills to become law, legislators from both houses must agree on a single version to send to Gov. Greg Abbott for his signature.

“We’re very pleased,” said Joe Pojman, executive director of the anti-abortion group Texas Alliance for Life. “These were bills that were considered during the regular session but didn’t get done. We’re very grateful that the legislature may pass these bills during the special session.”

Texas has been at the center of a protracted battle between state Republican leaders, who have attempted to impose stricter abortion rules through legislation, and reproductive rights advocates, who have challenged those initiatives in court.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Texas from enforcing new restrictions on abortion providers that had forced many clinics across the state to close and made abortions harder to obtain.

The current batch of laws will likely face similar legal scrutiny, said Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, which opposes the bills. Besides circumventing Supreme Court-guaranteed rights for women, the bills were all resurrected during the special session – a tactic used by lawmakers to gain conservative credibility before midterm…