AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Thousands of demonstrators descended on the Texas Capitol Monday, the majority expressing their opposition to new abortion restrictions that a Democratic filibuster and raucous protests derailed last week.
Lawmakers convened a new special legislative session aimed at reviving the bill that would limit where, when and how women may obtain abortions in the state. Supporters say it will protect women’s health and fetuses, while opponents say it is designed to shutter the state’s abortion clinics.
More than 5,000 demonstrators gathered at noon to oppose the new abortion restrictions... State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Forth Democrat whose filibuster in the last session helped catapult her into the national spotlight, told the crowd that their support helped her maintain the effort.
...hundreds of protesters in the public gallery and surrounding Capitol corridors cheered so loudly that senators on the floor weren’t able to hear, and the bill died as the clock ran out.
With lawmakers heading back, Sen. Donna Campbell, a New Braunfels Republican said, “I believe more presence by law enforcement will help keep disruptive behavior from thwarting the democratic process.”
She said more families may turn up to express their views and “every Texan’s voice deserves to be heard. Not just the noisiest and unruliest.”
Lainie Duro sat on the Capitol floor at 8 a.m. Monday with a stack of feminist literature and sex education books.
“I’m always part of the unruly mob. We refuse to be ruled,” she said. “Poor women, women of color, rural women. If they need abortion they will not be able to get an abortion.