Amid 'Circus' Scene, Texas Senate OKs Abortion Bill

It heads to Perry, who will sign it; Dems vow courts will overturn

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 13, 2013 6:20 AM CDT

(Newser) – Texas' Senate passed its contentious abortion bill last night in no uncertain terms, reports the Houston Chronicle, voting 19-11 to send the legislation to Gov. Rick Perry for final approval. Perry has left no doubt that he'll sign "our historic effort to protect life," and yesterday praised legislators who “tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans.” The Chronicle notes that "a circus-like atmosphere" dominated the Capitol, with thousands of the bill's orange-clad opponents facing off against its blue-clad supporters as legislators dangled baby shoes and sonograms, and security reportedly confiscated glitter, tampons, jars of urine, and the like. One guy's orange T-shirt summed up the testy mood, adds the New York Times: “@TXLEGE: U R dumb."

Republicans brushed aside Democrats' accusations of a "war on women," with the bill's Senate sponsor saying, "this bill raises the standard of care for women in Texas." Some Democrats appeared to shrug and point to the bill's eventual doom. "Don't you realize that federal courts have recognized that abortion is a federally protected constitutional right?" asked one Houston senator. "It's just going to be struck down." Wendy Davis—she of the 11-hour filibuster that doomed the bill last time around—told her fellow legislators that "the fight for the future of Texas is just beginning." She later grabbed a bullhorn and urged the crowd to "make sure tonight is not an ending point. It’s a beginning point as we work to take this state back."

A supporter an abortion bill reads the Bible while in line outside the Texas Senate chambers as he final vote by the Senate is expected to begin, Friday, July 12, 2013.
A supporter an abortion bill reads the Bible while in line outside the Texas Senate chambers as he final vote by the Senate is expected to begin, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
State senate Democrats, from left, Sylvia Garcia, Wendy Davis, Royce West, Kirk Watson, and John Whitmire, greet abortion rights advocates to show they voted against HB2, which the Senate approved late Friday, July 12, 2013.
State senate Democrats, from left, Sylvia Garcia, Wendy Davis, Royce West, Kirk Watson, and John Whitmire, greet abortion rights advocates to show they voted against HB2, which the Senate approved late...   (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)
Sen. Glenn Hegar answers questions as the Texas Senate debates an abortion bill before the final vote, Friday, July 12, 2013.
Sen. Glenn Hegar answers questions as the Texas Senate debates an abortion bill before the final vote, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Wendy Davis talks to supporters via bullhorn outside the Texas Capitol after the Senate passed an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013, in Austin.
Wendy Davis talks to supporters via bullhorn outside the Texas Capitol after the Senate passed an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013, in Austin.   (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)
A supporter of an abortion bill walks through the rotunda outside the Texas Senate chambers as he final vote by the Senate is expected to begin, Friday, July 12, 2013.
A supporter of an abortion bill walks through the rotunda outside the Texas Senate chambers as he final vote by the Senate is expected to begin, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Sen. Wendy Davis talks to supporters, using a megaphone outside the Texas Capitol after the Senate passed an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.
Sen. Wendy Davis talks to supporters, using a megaphone outside the Texas Capitol after the Senate passed an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A bloodied anti-abortion rights protester is surrounded by Texas state troopers outside the Senate Chamber, Saturday, July 13, 2013, in Austin.
A bloodied anti-abortion rights protester is surrounded by Texas state troopers outside the Senate Chamber, Saturday, July 13, 2013, in Austin.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Abortion rights advocates fill the rotunda of the State Capitol as the Senate nears the vote on Friday night, July 12, 2013.
Abortion rights advocates fill the rotunda of the State Capitol as the Senate nears the vote on Friday night, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)
Theresa Maska holds a sign supporting anti-abortion legislation outside the Texas Senate as they prepare to debate an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.
Theresa Maska holds a sign supporting anti-abortion legislation outside the Texas Senate as they prepare to debate an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Pro-abortion rights protesters are removed from the Texas Senate gallery by state troopers as the Senate debates an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.
Pro-abortion rights protesters are removed from the Texas Senate gallery by state troopers as the Senate debates an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A pro-abortion rights protester struggles with Texas state troopers in the Senate gallery as the Senate debates an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.
A pro-abortion rights protester struggles with Texas state troopers in the Senate gallery as the Senate debates an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
An abortion rights protester is removed from the Texas Senate gallery by state troopers as the Senate debates an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.
An abortion rights protester is removed from the Texas Senate gallery by state troopers as the Senate debates an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Abortion rights supporters rally on the floor of the State Capitol rotunda in Austin, Texas on Friday, July 12, 2013.
Abortion rights supporters rally on the floor of the State Capitol rotunda in Austin, Texas on Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Tamir Kalifa)
Sen. Kirk Watson and Sen. Wendy Davis talk as the Texas Senate debates an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.
Sen. Kirk Watson and Sen. Wendy Davis talk as the Texas Senate debates an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas Senators vote on an amendment to an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013, in Austin, Texas.
Texas Senators vote on an amendment to an abortion bill, Friday, July 12, 2013, in Austin, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Sen. Wendy Davis asks questions of abortion bill author Sen. Glenn Hegar as the Texas Senate debates abortion legislation, Friday, July 12, 2013.
Sen. Wendy Davis asks questions of abortion bill author Sen. Glenn Hegar as the Texas Senate debates abortion legislation, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Texas state troopers watch as supporters and opponents of an abortion bill, mostly dressed in blue and orange, sit in the gallery of the Texas Senate as lawmakers debate, Friday, July 12, 2013.
Texas state troopers watch as supporters and opponents of an abortion bill, mostly dressed in blue and orange, sit in the gallery of the Texas Senate as lawmakers debate, Friday, July 12, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
« Prev« Prev | Next »Next » Slideshow
My TakeCLICK BELOW TO VOTE
2%
2%
25%
50%
10%
11%
To report an error on this story, notify our editors.

NEWS FROM OUR PARTNERS
Other Sites We Like:   The Street   |   HitFix   |   PopSugar Tech   |   RealClear   |   24/7 Wall St.   |   CollegeHumor   |   Barstool Sports   |   OK!