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Health & Science

Protesters At Texas Capitol Greet Returning Lawmakers As Special Session Starts

Thousands of people converged on the Texas Capitol today, eager to carry on a political fight over abortion as the Texas Legislature begins a second, 30-day special session.


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(Amazing Grace ambi)

Abortion opponents inside the Capitol rotunda sang and prayed out loud.

At a pro-life press conference, several women spoke about their regret after getting an abortion. They were joined by Republican State Sen. Donna Campbell of New Braunfels.

Campbell predicted victory in the new special session.

“God is with us. We are on the right side. And the blessing of perseverance is success. Is that true?”

Several restrictions on abortion have been combined into one large bill. They include a ban on abortions after 20 weeks’ gestation, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

The bill would also require all abortion clinics to meet the same standards as outpatient surgery centers.

Planned Parenthood and other pro-choice groups predict this will shut down 37 abortion clinics in Texas, leaving only five.

(crowd chanting “Wendy!”)

State Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth spoke at a pro-choice rally. She made national news last week after standing for almost 13 hours to filibuster the previous bill of this bill.

Davis said Texas Republicans attack women’s rights for political gain.

“For years, too many Texas politicians have tried to boost their careers by bullying women who need help with their healthcare. They have messed with the way that Texas women can get cancer screenings, or birth control, or even pre-natal care.”

Yet it’s unlikely that Davis and other Democrats will be able to successfully repeat their stalling tactics in the Republican-dominated Legislature.

Still, Davis framed last week’s filibuster as a victory of sorts. She says Democratic political momentum has been revived by the fight.

“We’ve had an opportunity to be  inspired by each other’s actions in our democracy. And we’ve witnessed how much we can accomplish when we reclaim our power and require accountability.”

The special session will also consider transportation funding and a change to juvenile justice law. 

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