AUSTIN -- A Texas Senate committee approved a bill Tuesday that would put tighter regulations on abortion facilities in Texas, a measure that some worry may force smaller clinics to close.Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, defended his bill from fierce criticism Tuesday that what he really was trying to do was impose a "back-door" ban on abortion."Abortion clinics are regulated by the state, but they are not regulated as a surgical facility; they are governed by a lower standard," he said. "I am pro-life, I make no secret about that. I make no secret that I don't think abortions should be legal, but I also face the reality that they are, and given that fact, I think we should take all precautions."Senate Bill 537 would allow abortions only in facilities that state regulators say qualify as an ambulatory surgical center, places with operating rooms for minor surgeries. The bill would also require that women could only take an abortion-inducing pill in the same facility. The bill moved to the full Senate on a vote of 5-2, with Democrats opposing it.Under current law, a woman may take an abortion-inducing pill in a doctor's office and would be sent to a hospital if she suffered complications and needed surgery.Abortion-rights supporters complain that the new tougher standard for clinics would cause many women's health clinics to shut down since they can't meet the higher standards. They say that rural and poor parts of the state will especially be affected."This bill places onerous requirements on health centers, requirements that do nothing to improve the health or safety of women," said Carla Holeva, CEO of Planned Parenthood of West Texas. "Senate Bill 537 is a back-door abortion ban, plain and simple. If passed, this bill would effectively end access to a safe and legal medical procedure in this state, which is harmful for women's health."Deuell adamantly denied that his bill would deny women access to an abortion, though he acknowledged that only five out of 38 abortion clinics in Texas would meet the new requirement. The bill would apply only to facilities that provide more than 40 abortions a year.Anti-abortion groups, including Texas Right to Life and Texas Alliance for life, praised the bill.Tama Chunn, representing Life Advocates, said the higher standards are needed because women sometimes suffer side effects from abortions that need medical attention."I want to see abortion overturned, of course, but as long as it is legal, I don't want to see women injured on top of the children who are massacred," she said.