The Two-Way
5:05 pm
Wed June 26, 2013

Texas Legislators Called Back For Special Session On Abortion Bill

Originally published on Wed June 26, 2013 6:33 pm

After a vote on a controversial bill to restrict abortion in Texas was deemed to have fallen outside of the state's legislative session, Gov. Rick Perry has called for a special session to take up the issue, along with other topics. The session is scheduled to begin July 1 at 2 p.m., ET.

As our colleague Elise Hu reported, the proposed abortion law inspired a filibuster attempt from state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth:

"Davis stood and spoke continuously for nearly 11 hours in an attempt to block passage of SB 5, a bill that would ban all abortions after 20 weeks and could effectively close all but five abortion clinics in the state. Supporters say the new, stringent standards raise the level of care for Texas women. The majority of Texas voters polled have shown support for restrictions on abortion."

A vote approving the bill was found to have occurred after the legislative session's official deadline of midnight, rendering the vote invalid.

That immediately led to questions of whether Gov. Perry would call lawmakers back to the Capitol — something he now says he's doing — to hold a special session that will take up the abortion issue as well as transportation and crime bills.

The Dallas Morning News reports on what it calls a "proclamation" from Perry:

"Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn. Texans want a transportation system that keeps them moving. Texans want a court system that is fair and just," he said.

Perry also alluded to the throngs who flooded the Capitol Tuesday night and disrupted the Senate just as it was poised to break the filibuster of Sen. Wendy Davis and push through abortion regulations.

"We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do," Perry said.

From Texas, member station KERA reports that the opponents of the measure, who disrupted proceedings in the Capitol with their chanting and yelling, "say they're prepared to do it all over again."

It's unclear whether Davis will attempt another filibuster. But as Elise reports today, Davis has raised her profile extensively with her marathon speech.

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