AUSTIN, Texas, June 27, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A day after pro-abortion protesters barred Texas lawmakers from passing a bill that threatens to shut down most of the state’s abortion facilities, Gov. Rick Perry has declared the state will not bow to “mob tactics.”
The strongly pro-life governor announced Wednesday that he was calling a special session to allow passage of the pro-life measure, which would impose tighter safety regulations on abortion facilities and ban all abortions after 20 weeks, without exceptions. The special session will begin July 1st at 2:00 p.m.
At the National Right to Life Convention on Thursday morning, Gov. Perry said the events at the Texas capitol on Tuesday were “nothing more than the hijacking of the democratic process.”
“This is simply too important of a cause to allow the unruly actions of a few to stand in its way,” he said. “And that's the reason that I am calling lawmakers back to Austin, Texas to finish their business. And I put pro-life measures at the top of that call list.”
Gov. Perry said the protesters ”demonstrated that even if they lose at the ballot box, even if they come up short in attempts to stall on the Senate floor, they'll resort to mob tactics to force their minority agenda on the people of Texas.”
The bill, called SB 5, had secured the necessary votes on Tuesday but the voting missed the session’s midnight deadline by mere minutes. Pro-abortion protesters, egged on by Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, drowned out the activity on the legislature floor. State troopers were called in and at least one protester was arrested.
The shouting came after an eleven-hour filibuster by Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis.
News organizations such as the Associated Press had originally reported that the bill passed in a vote of 19-10. But there were several hours of confusion until Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst officially confirmed at 3:00 a.m. local time that the vote was too late.
Dewhurst blamed "an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics" for blocking the bill. "I didn't lose control of what we were doing," he said, according to the Texas Tribune. "We had an unruly mob."
In addition to the 20-week ban, the bill requires abortion facilities to be brought up to par with other outpatient surgical centers, and for abortionists to maintain admitting privileges at local hospitals. Currently, 37 out of Texas’s 42 abortion facilities fail to meet the bill’s standards.
A long-time supporter of the pro-life cause, Gov. Perry had a change of heart on pro-life legislation during his unsuccessful run for president. The governor had supported exceptions based on rape and incest, but after a discussion with Rebecca Kiessling, who was conceived in rape, he recanted the previous stance.
“We had a fairly lengthy and heartfelt conversation about how she was conceived in rape. Looking in her eyes, I couldn’t come up with an answer to defend exceptions for rape and incest,” he told Personhood USA’s presidential pro-life forum in December of 2011.
In his address today at the NRLC convention, the governor lamented the 80,000 abortions committed annually in Texas, and declared that "the ideal world is a world without abortion."
"The events of the last few days only underscore that we face continued challenges,” he added. “Over the past few days, the world has seen images of the Texas capitol filled with pro-abortion activists screaming and cheering and drowning out the elected officials,” he continued. “Going forward, we have to match their intensity, but do it with grace and civility and the dignity that our cause deserves.”
"The louder they scream the more we know we are getting something done,” he added. “So until the day that Roe v. Wade is nothing more than a footnote in our nation's history books, we will not give up the good fight."