It took lawmakers ten hours of debate to pass the strictest abortion legislation Texas has ever seen on a vote of 19 to 11 Friday night.
Democratic lawmakers in the Texas Senate tried 21 times to change the bill by adding resolutions but none of those attempts were successful. Sen. Judith Zafarinni, D-Laredo, was one of those who tried to change the bill.
"As a pro-lifer I tried mightily to amend this bill to prohibit the abortion of an unborn child after 5 months," Zafarinni said. "Please remember that 11 Democrats voted for that amendment today."
Texas Matters: Abortion legislation gets nearer to Gov. Rick Perry's desk as I type this sentence, but Texas Democrats are still rallying against the bill behind new star Wendy Davis. The fight over abortion in the state is far from over -- even after the bill is signed -- but the debate has now galvanized both Republicans and Democrats in the state as candidates are beginning to announce intent for the 2014 mid-term election. Rick Perry announced he will not run for another term, which is shaking things up across the board.
The controversial abortion restriction bill will likely pass the Texas Senate in Austin today, but yesterday in downtown San Antonio, a rally with Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, demonstrated that there is plenty of opposition to that bill.
The rally was called Stand With Texas Women, and along with Mayor Julián Castro were four Texas Senators all beating the drum in opposition to the abortion bills.
But the person that the crowd came to see was Davis.
Texas Senate Democrats rallied at the capitol and then boarded a big orange "Stand with Texas Women" tour bus to take the abortion fight on the road.
Sen. Kirk Watson of Austin, who is the chair of the Democratic Caucus, had initially requested the entire Senate take committee hearings on the road. When that request was denied, Stand With Texas Women chartered their own.
Same bills, same state lawmakers, different set of voting rules.
During the regular session and the first special session, the Senate operated under the the two-thirds rule, a tradition of voting that ensures at least two-thirds of the Senate floor has an interest in debating an issue before a bill reaches the Senate floor.
For many watching the abortion fight in Texas, it's deja vu all over again.
Abortion-rights protesters once again gathered Monday at the state capitol building to express their outrage at the Legislature's attempt to further restrict abortions in the state. The images from Austin looked a lot like the previous week's when state Sen. Wendy Davis famously filibustered to stop the legislation from passing.
Thousands of people swarmed to the state capitol to cheer on state lawmakers on both sides of the abortion debate, and what some thought would be mayhem turned out to be a peaceful but loud rally both inside and outside the capitol.
Mounted police in riot gear watched over the crowds at the rally, but were not needed after all.
Inside, pro-life groups sang "Amazing Grace" over and over, following a press conference from mothers who had had an abortion that went wrong and who now wanted more restrictions for abortion providers.