Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
While the Christian Taliban is still working on its anti-abortion bill in the North Carolina Legislature, the Christian Taliban in the Republic of Texas Gilead wrapped up its work today, just in time for Sunday services!
The Texas Senate voted 19-11 early Saturday to pass sweeping restrictions on abortions, the conclusion of a weeks-long standoff over reproductive rights in the state.
Although the bill’s passage was all but assured, opponents still turned out in droves. One T-shirt favored by protesters invoked another lost cause: “This is Texas, baby. Remember the Alamo.” Fearing a disruption, Department of Public Safety officials confiscated anything that could be thrown from the gallery — leading some protesters to lose tampons, condoms, glitter and other potential projectiles.
Tampons of mass destruction -- who knew? You can carry a gun in the Texas Lege, but security will confiscate tampons? Wow.
“The fight for the future of Texas is just beginning,” said Sen. Wendy Davis (D) as the vote on the legislation she successfully filibustered last month neared.
This time around, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst pledged, there would be no disruptions. Inside the Senate chamber, observers watched in silence from the gallery while protesters chanted in the Capitol rotunda.
Just before the vote, Dewhurst thanked both supporters and opponents and “even the press” for being there and asked for everyone “to love each other, as Christ loved the church, as we love all of those unborn babies.”
So the Texas Lege is a tent revival prayer meeting now?
Republicans systematically voted down all 20 proposed amendments to the bill, which will ban abortions after 20 weeks, require abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and require all abortions take place in surgical centers. As the last amendment failed, five singing protesters chained themselves to the railing of the gallery; state troopers removed them from the room.
The measure now heads to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk for his signature.
The bill takes effect 90 days after the legislature adjourns. Clinics will have until September 2014 to comply with the new regulations.
The battle will continue on two fronts — in court and at the ballot box.
Courts have blocked 20-week bans in Arizona, Georgia and Idaho. New clinic regulations have been stalled by judges in Alabama and Mississippi. At one point, state Sen. Rodney Ellis (D) predicted that the Texas law would be “tied up in the courts” until at least 2015, when the legislature reconvenes. Some abortion opponents welcome the legal challenges, hoping that a case will go to the Supreme Court and lead to the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
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Regardless of whether the new restrictions take effect in Texas, abortion rights advocates hope to harness the energy of the protests into political action. “There’s a whole lot of people in that state. If they start to vote, things are going to change,” said Dawn Laguens, vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. “We are in this for the long run.”
“This is Texas, baby. Remember the Alamo.”