Texas Abortion Bill Fails to Pass Due to Filibuster and ‘Unruly Mob’

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Senator Wendy Davis filibustered the Texas abortion bill. Image by Tracy Nanthavongsa

Senator Wendy Davis filibustered the Texas abortion bill. Image by Tracy Nanthavongsa

What Happened as the Midnight Hour Approached

The vote was actually taken around 11:45. But after it became obvious the bill had passed, approximately 400 spectators watching the session began to jeer and shout. Some report the noise level in the chamber was deafening.

One Republican senator screamed at a security guard to get those people out of there but security guards were vastly outnumbered and did not even attempt to remove the spectators.

It took until 3 a.m. for Dewhurst to determine whether or not the vote was taken prior to the formal ending of the legislative session. But in the end, it didn’t matter.

The Lieutenant Government admitted that in all the noise and confusion, he never got around to signing the bill into law before the midnight deadline. The session ended without SB 5 becoming law.

Unruly Mob and Legislative Action

Dewhurst referred to the people who were screaming and jeering as an “unruly mob” and said that he was not responsible for missing the deadline.

Under Texas law, Gov. Rick Perry has the power to call for a special 30-day session of the Senate. Most analysts anticipate Perry will do this in order to attempt to pass the bill that a majority of Senators have already voted in favor of.

Resources:

Fox News. Texas abortion bill fails after chaotic stand-off in capital. (2013). Accessed June 26, 2013.

Washington Post. Wendy Davis beats the clock, with an assist from the gallery. (2013). Accessed June 26, 2013.

The Times-Picayune. Texas abortion bill fails after 11 hour filibuster from Sen. Wendy Davis. (2013). Accessed June 26, 2013.

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