Just when you thought it was over, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has called another special session of the state legislature to begin on July 1 to address abortion restrictions.
“Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn. Texans want a transportation system that keeps them moving. Texans want a court system that is fair and just. We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do,” he said in a statement released Wednesday.
The first attempt to increase the restrictions on abortions was killed by Wendy Davis’s filibuster and the rowdiness of the Senate gallery. While the measure passed 19-10 strictly along party lines, the vote was ruled illegitimate because it occurred after the midnight deadline for the special session.
The Senate bill, known as SB5, would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy with no exception for rape or incest victims, require women to have two in person visits to the doctor before receiving an abortion and would increase the standards for abortion clinics such that every clinic but five would have to shut their doors.
A second special session was thought likely after Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst posted the following to his Facebook page early Wednesday morning that concludes with “the fight is far from over”:
I am furious about the outcome of the final day of this Special Session, when an unruly, screaming mob using ‘Occupy Wall Street’ tactics derailed legislation intended to protect the health of Texas women and their babies. An unconscionable series of delaying actions by the minority party and their allies placed SB 5 in direct jeopardy of death-by-filibuster upon its arrival in the Senate. Pushing every parliamentary procedure to its limit, we passed SB 5 19-10, but the deafening roar from the gallery drowned out any possibility of adjourning with a signed bill. I pledge to Texas one thing: this fight is far from over.
As Perry alluded to in his statement, the special session will also deal with two bills that the Senate did not get to on Tuesday night due to the filibuster — a transportation funding bill and new sentencing guidelines for 17 year olds convicted of capital crimes.