Texas Senate Passes Filibustered Abortion Bill

AUSTIN, TX - JULY 01: Supporters of Texas women's right to reproductive decisions rally at the Texas State capitol on July 1, 2013 in Austin, Texas. This is first day of a second legislative special session called by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to pass an restrictive abortion law through the Texas legislature. The first attempt was defeated after opponents of the law were able to stall the vote until after first special session had ended. 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.