Governor Rick Perry calls for special legislative session after crowd delays abortion bill vote
By Josh Altic
AUSTIN, Texas: The Texas legislature will be convening in a special session on July 1 in order to revisit the abortion law which was successfully filibustered in an effort led by Texas Senator Wendy Davis.
On Tuesday, the last day of a special Texas legislative session, lawmakers were all set to vote on a highly controversial abortion bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks and impose strict restrictions on abortion facilities, requiring them to be classified as ambulatory surgical centers and establishing that all Doctors working at abortion facilities have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. But Senator Davis had other ideas and spent more than 12 hours on her feet in an attempt to run the clock out and prevent a vote before the close of the session at midnight. Finally when she was asked to give up the floor, hundreds of protesters cheered and were loud enough to disrupt the legislature and prevent the bill from being voted on and signed by Lt. Governor David Dewhurst before midnight. So even though the bill was approved by 19 of the 29 votes, the bill is not constitutionally valid as it was not signed into law until a few minutes after the official end of the legislative session.
Both Governor Perry and Lt. Governor Dewhurst have resolved to force a vote on the abortion bill early in the new special session beginning on Monday in order to prevent another filibuster. Dewhurst said, "No human being can talk for two weeks. This bill is going to pass." When asked about the protesters rioting in aid of her filibuster efforts, Senator Davis said, “They were asking for their voices to be heard. The results speak for themselves.”