Dewhurst Requests Strong DPS Presence During Final Abortion Debate (Live)
Update: (4:55 p.m.) DPS has issued a press release saying that they have received information that people are planning on using a variety of props and items to disrupt Senate proceedings and will be inspecting bags before letting people into the gallery.
According to the release, so far DPS has found:
"One jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint. All of these items – as well as significant quantities of feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti."
Original Post: Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and his fellow Republicans are calling for strict Senate rules for those in the Senate gallery today, as the Senate takes up a final vote on House Bill 2, the controversial abortion measure, but abortion rights groups say they won’t go down without a fight.
During the previous special session, Dewhurst called those in the gallery an "unruly mob" after the crowd had succeeded in delayed him from signing the very same bill that is now being voted on today.
Dewhurst said that will not happen again.
"If there are any demonstrations, we’re going to clear the gallery. Unfortunately on June 25 I gave that instruction, the chain of command broke down, but our state police understand that if I give that order we are going to clear the gallery," he said.
Dewhurst once again said democracy will not be interrupted by an unruly mob, but Candace Vallejo with the abortion rights group Rise Up Texas said they won’t go down without a fight.
"We are looking at really just having a strong showing of orange support for whenever the vote goes down," she said, "and making sure that whatever the way the vote goes that we make our strength and our number and our voices heard and we want to let these senators and the media know that we will not remain silent."
Senate Democrats like Sen. Royce West of Dallas say they don't have the numbers nor any type of procedural tactics that will stop today’s vote.
"The next battle for this particular bill is going to be in court and if you look, if some of the other states are instructive in terms of what’s going to happen, I believe a preliminary injunction will be granted upon implementation of this particular bill," West said.
West said that decision will likely make its way up to the U.S. Supreme Court and then that could result as a rollback of Roe v. Wade or President Barack Obama could appoint another Supreme Court Justice to weigh the odds in Democrat's favor.
View the live feed via the Texas Tribune: