Texas Senate Passes Filibustered Abortion Bill

By
Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Earlier this week, Texas's House of Representatives approved the highly restrictive abortion bill that Wendy Davis stood for 11 hours to filibuster in June. And, on Friday night, as expected, the state's Senate did the same with an 19 to 11 vote. Governor Rick Perry, who insisted on a special post-filibuster legislative session to ensure the bill passed, congratulated anti-abortion activists and lawmakers on their tireless efforts to ban abortions after 20 weeks and force most Texas abortion clinics to close. "Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life," he said, thanking supporters who "defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans."

The vote itself took place amid energetic protests: According to the New York Times, "Shouts, chants and singing could be heard outside the chamber, and as the final amendment was voted down, protesters tried to chain themselves to the railing of the Senate gallery and were removed." (Earlier in the day, state troopers confiscated  "tampons, maxi pads and other potential projectiles" from people entering the Texas statehouse to watch the debate until Democratic State Senator Kirk Watson convinced them to stop.) But the fight isn't going to stop here: Pro-choice activists have long planned to challenge this bill in federal court. "The fight for the future of Texas is just beginning," said Davis on Friday night.