The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

July 13, 2013

Texas Republicans finally pass new abortion limits

(Continued)

Texas falls under the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which has shown a willingness to accept more stringent limits on abortions.

By passing the new restrictions, Republicans pleased the Christian conservatives who make up the majority of primary voters. But they inspired abortion rights supporters to protest at the state Capitol in numbers not seen in Texas in at least 20 years.

Demonstrators packed normally boring committee hearings to voice their anger over the abortion bill and managed to disrupt key votes. They finished a lengthy filibuster by Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis, of Fort Worth, by jeering for the last 15 minutes of the first special legislative session, effectively killing the bill.

That's when Perry called lawmakers back for round two. But opponents said the fight is far from over and used the popular anger to register and organize Democratic voters.

"Let's make sure that tonight is not an ending point, it's a beginning point for our future, our collective futures, as we work to take this state back." Davis told 2,000 adoring supporters after the bill passed.

The Texas Republican Party, meanwhile, celebrated what they consider to be a major victory that makes Texas "a nationwide leader in pro-life legislation."

"As Democrats continue to talk about their dreams of turning Texas blue, passage of (the bill) is proof that Texans are conservative and organized and we look forward to working with our amazing Republican leadership in the Texas Legislature as they finish the special session strong," a party statement said.

Friday's debate took place before a packed gallery of demonstrators, with anti-abortion activists wearing blue and abortion-rights supporters wearing orange. Security was tight, and state troopers reported confiscating bottles of urine and feces as they worked to prevent another attempt to stop the Republican majority from passing the proposal.

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