Texas Abortion Vote Misses by Minutes, Amid Chaos

Deadline missed on heels of Wendy Davis' epic filibuster

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 26, 2013 1:30 AM CDT | Updated Jun 26, 2013 7:53 AM CDT

(Newser) – A contentious end to a wild day and night in Texas, where a bill that would ban abortions in the state after 20 weeks just barely failed to pass the state Senate before its midnight deadline, the AP reports. The GOP-controlled chamber was only able to vote on the bill after Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst decided that Democrat Wendy Davis had violated the rules—among them, no leaning on her desk, using the bathroom, or straying off topic—more than 10 hours into her nationally watched (and Obama supported) filibuster, the Austin American-Statesman reports.

Republicans scrambled to hold the stroke-of-midnight vote amid a raucous backdrop in the chamber, where crowds created a deafening scene (Buzzfeed has photos of the snaking lines of protesters); at one point, Sen. Donna Campbell started shouting to security, saying "Get them out! Time is running out," reports the AP. Time did indeed run out: Confusion reigned for a few hours over whether the 19-10 vote had made the cut, but at 3:01am Dewhurst returned to the Senate floor and confirmed the vote did in fact take place after midnight, giving him no time to sign it. He had strong words for the protesters, calling them an "unruly mob ... [who] disrupted the Senate from protecting unborn babies."

Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, reacts after she was called for a third and final violation in rules to end her filibuster attempt to kill an abortion bill in Austin, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Members of the gallery respond as Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, is called for a third and final violation in rules to end her filibuster attempt to kill an abortion bil.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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