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  #1    
Old June 26th, 2013, 05:43 PM
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AUSTIN, Texas — After a one-woman filibuster and a raucous crowd helped derail a GOP-led effort to restrict Texas abortions, Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that he's calling lawmakers back next week to try again.

Perry ordered the Legislature to meet July 1 to begin 30 more days of work. Like the first special session, which ended in chaos overnight, the second one will include on its agenda a Republican-backed plan that critics say would close nearly every abortion clinic across the state and impose other widespread limits on the procedure.

"I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas," Perry said in a statement. "Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn."

The first session's debate over abortion restrictions led to the most chaotic day in the Texas Legislature in modern history, starting with a marathon filibuster and ending with a down-to-the wire, frenetic vote marked by questions about whether Republicans tried to break chamber rules and jam the measure through.

A second filibuster is harder to pull off though, since supporters of the bill will ensure it clear preliminary hurdles and reaches floor votes in the House and Senate well before the second session expires.

The governor can convene as many extra sessions as he likes and sets the agenda of what lawmakers can work on. Also listed on the session's agenda are separate bills to boost highway funding and deal with a juvenile justice issue.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who oversees the flow of legislation in the Senate, hinted that another special session was coming when he told lawmakers "see you soon" after the first session adjourned.

Many of the same abortion rights groups that staged Tuesday's night's protests took to Twitter on Wednesday, promising they had more in store.

The entire process starts over, with bills that must be filed by individual lawmakers, undergo a public hearing and be passed out of committee before they can be considered by both chambers.


Still, supporters are likely to draft a measure similar to the one that nearly passed during the first special session. It sought a statewide ban on undergoing the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the point at which anti-abortion activists claim a fetus can feel pain – despite a lack of scientific evidence to support that.

That bill also would have forced many clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities to be classified as ambulatory surgical centers. Doctors would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

Democrats put their hopes of thwarting the bill Tuesday in the hands of Wendy Davis, a state senator clad in pink running shoes, for a daylong attempt to talk the bill to death. Over the duration of the speech, Davis became a social media star, even becoming the subject of a tweet from President Obama for her efforts.

But just before midnight, Republicans claimed she strayed off topic and got help with a back brace – two things that are against filibuster rules – and cut her off.

That cleared the way for a vote.

But when Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst shouted into the microphone, trying to call the final votes, nobody seemed to hear him. Some 400 supporters jammed into the gallery had taken their feet with a deafening roar, drowning out his voice. It was, as some claimed, a "people's filibuster" – an attempt by protesters to finish what Davis had started more than 11 hours earlier.

"Get them out!" Republican Sen. Donna Campbell shouted to a security guard. "... I want them out of here!"

As the crowd clapped and shouted "shame, shame, shame," Dewhurst gathered Republican lawmakers around Secretary of the Senate Patsy Spaw to register their votes. Democrats ran forward, holding up their cellphones, which showed it was past midnight.

But Dewhurst and other Republicans insisted the first vote was cast before midnight by the Legislature's clock and that the bill had passed.

By the time decorum was restored and the 19-10 vote in favor of the measure was recorded, the clock read 12:03 a.m. Confusion took over: The Republicans had passed the bill, but did it count? Were the votes tallied in time?

Reporters checked the Senate's official website and saw the vote registered on Wednesday, after the deadline. But a short time later, the website was updated to show the vote on Tuesday. Sen. Chuy Hinojosa produced two official printouts of the vote, each showing a different day for the same vote.

After protests from angry Democrats, senators met privately with Dewhurst for more than an hour. Eventually, he returned to the then-empty Senate chamber and declared that while the bill had passed, he didn't have time to sign it, so it wasn't approved. In return for declaring the measure dead, Democrats promised not to question the date of the vote any further.

While altering a public record is illegal, stopping the clock to allow for a vote or changing the journal before it is published are long traditions in the Texas Legislature and unlikely to lead to a prosecution.

The law's provision that abortions be performed at surgical centers means only five of Texas' 42 abortion clinics would remain in operation in a state 773 miles wide and 790 miles long with 26 million people. A woman living along the Mexico border or in West Texas would have to drive hundreds of miles to obtain an abortion.

Conservatives and anti-abortion campaigners joined Dewhurst in condemning the "unruly mob" for violating the Senate's decorum by screaming obscenities at Republican backers of the bill.

Texas Democrats, though, see an opportunity to capitalize just months after setting up a grassroots organization called "Battleground Texas" with a $36 million cash infusion. And they circled around Davis – the teen mom turned Harvard Law School grad whose Twitter followers rocketed from 1,200 to 83,000 in just 24 hours.

"As Sen. Wendy Davis most powerfully emphasized, Democrats are not afraid of a fight," said Gilberto Hinojosa, Texas Democratic Party chairman. "Last night was a turning point in that story of Texas."
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...tml?ref=topbar

Funny - Wasn't he one of the loudest screaming "GOVERNMENT HAS NO BUISNUESS IN HEALTHCARE!!!"

Rick Perry Healthcare Motto - Keeping Government out of your healthcare... Unless you were born with a vagina.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 06:46 PM
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In all honesty, I knew he was going to do this. Soon as I heard it on NPR "he could start another session" I immediately called jinx.

Other than saying that Rick Perry is a douche, I don't really have anything to say that the OP didn't already say.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 09:04 PM
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I have never understood why these white male politicians feel so compelled to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies! It boggles the mind.

Good job voters. You did a swell job when you elected Rick Perry to office. Just kidding. Somebody needs to wake this sleeping country up...cause it should be a lot more than a handful of people actually trying to do something about these megalomaniacal fools in office.
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Old June 26th, 2013, 10:27 PM
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As if tt wasn't enough that they broke the law while on a livestream watched by hundreds of thousands of people, they're going to try push this through again and render Wendy Davis' efforts worthless...??????? Sigh. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 02:57 AM
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Ugh. Again? Damn.

I get why the clinic closure and other "hidden gems" in this are bad. That shouldn't happen. But, what makes the 20 weeks limit that keeps getting highlight so outrageous? That's 4.5 months! That's a lot of time.

It's probably a little early in that they're normally viable two weeks later. But the overall consensus I've read says pain somewhere between 18 - 29 weeks, viable after 22 weeks, best chances of survival after 26. If a pregnancy is 40 weeks, 20 is the half-way point. But it two weeks if you want. Surely you can make up your mind by then, no? I don't quite see the problem.

I just always look to to places like France or Germany who I think I have pretty good and progressive health care systems. Germany blocks it in the third trimester (so, that 26 week mark again), and France blocks it after just 12 weeks! Having a limit is that outlandish or vile an idea. Just that if Republicans propose it, it makes it so for some reason. Wasn't the point of abortions to be safe and rare?
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Old June 27th, 2013, 04:21 AM
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This issue has been settled in Canada decades ago. It boggles the mind that in a country that values freedom there are so many who wish to take that freedom away from over 50 percent of its population. Of course, the U.S. is a country also heavily influenced by the religious crowds, so I really shouldn't be surprised. If there's one thing religion excels at, it's oppressing the people.
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Old June 27th, 2013, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Jay_37040 View Post
This issue has been settled in Canada decades ago. It boggles the mind that in a country that values freedom there are so many who wish to take that freedom away from over 50 percent of its population. Of course, the U.S. is a country also heavily influenced by the religious crowds, so I really shouldn't be surprised. If there's one thing religion excels at, it's oppressing the people.
I very much prefer Canada and its balance of powers. How the Federal government can make a nationwide ruling like that. Takes away the complications

Does Canada not have a religious history too? Or France? Or lots of places that aren't the US?
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Old June 27th, 2013, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by TRIFORCE89 View Post
I very much prefer Canada and its balance of powers. How the Federal government can make a nationwide ruling like that. Takes away the complications

Does Canada not have a religious history too? Or France? Or lots of places that aren't the US?
Canada has a very rich religious history. It's just that (in my opinion) we've done a better job keeping religion and politics separate. For example, in 2005 when marriage between same-sex couples was adopted in Canada, while the bill was being debated the Catholic church threatened Catholic lawmakers with consequences in their church if they were to vote to make same-sex marriage legal. Our former Prime Minister, essentially, told the church where to go.
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Old June 29th, 2013, 03:15 PM
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I weep for your country, Americans. This is an example of where the British system (The county council has very little power) is beneficial - our politicians are too afraid of losing votes to do anything as extreme as ban abortions beyond 6 weeks (As I read one state is apparently trying to push though?). Although it's obviously completely different - Britain's moderate in politics, religions, everything really.
I don't really have a strong opinion on the whole abortion thing, but it does seem a shame that the efforts of Wendy Davis are going to waste. On the other hand, this Perry guy was elected, and you've got to give him credit for persevering. Although he has one hell of an advantage over anyone trying to stop him.
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Old July 1st, 2013, 06:40 PM
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Leave it to Rick Perry to abuse his power and subvert the law in order to force this mumbo jumbo through. There's a reason your Presidential run went up in flames, you idiot.
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