Just after midnight Saturday when the Texas Senate passed HB 2, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (who presides over the Senate) tweeted that “Love wins tonight as the Texas Senate stood firmly on the right side of history.”
The Texas Senate rejected 20 pro-abortion amendments and passed a bil to protect pain-capable unborn children 19-11. The bill passed the House earlier in the week.
Pro-life Gov. Rick Perry, who has said he will sign the bill, issued a statement saying, “Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life. This legislation builds on the strong and unwavering commitment we have made to defend life and protect women’s health. I am proud of our lawmakers, and citizens who tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans.”
However, love was in short supply among pro-abortionists whose menacing presence, verbal assaults, and threats to hurl various objects at lawmakers kept pro-lifers on edge the entire evening. Many pro-lifers tweeted they felt physically threatened.
The Associated Press reported that just as exhausted senators were about to begin closing statements, four pro-abortion demonstrators tried to chain themselves to a railing in the gallery. “One of the women succeeded,” the AP reported, “prompting a 10-minute recess.” All four were arrested.
The state capitol was awash with pro-life and pro-abortion demonstrators, pro-lifers wearing blue and pro-abortionists 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 a proposal that has put Texas at the center of the nation’s abortion debate,” the AP reported.
Passage came less than three weeks after a June 25 filibuster by pro-abortion state Senator Wendy Davis dragged on until the final minutes of a special session. Pro-abortionists in the gallery then shouted so loudly that it was impossible to conduct business.
Undeterred Gov. Perry called a second special session, vowing to place pro-life issues high on the priority list.
HB 2 would provide protection for unborn children who are capable of feeling pain, beginning at 20 weeks fetal age (equivalent to 22 “weeks of pregnancy”), the beginning of the sixth month. It would also require abortion clinics to meet the same health and safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers.
Earlier in the week, during House debate, state Rep. Jodie Laubenberg, the bill’s author, said that the measure would close no abortion clinics, adding, “It is time these clinics put patients ahead of profits.”
According to the New York Times
“Supporters of the bill in the legislature have been angered by the language of their opponents. During floor debate on Tuesday, Representative Jason Villalba, a Republican of Dallas, said that ‘I shall stand with Texas women, but I shall stand here no longer and be accused of conducting a ‘war on women’.” He said ‘we care for and we fight for human baby lives,’ and showed a sonogram of his own child at 13 weeks, he said, ‘I will fight, and I will fight, and I will fight to protect my baby.’”
Reprinted with permission from National Right to Life News.