It was a historic night for the Texas Legislature as thousands packed the capitol, forming snake-like lines through the rotunda and all four floors.
While Senator Wendy Davis' attempt at a 13-hour filibuster failed, what people are coining the ‘People's Filibuster' finished the job. Yelling from the outraged crowd delayed the vote until after the midnight expiration.
"This bill isn't a matter of if it's going to pass, but when," pro-life advocate Krysten Haga said. "One late night isn't going to stop it."
Haga is a volunteer at Lubbock's Nurturing Center, a facility that serves as a pregnancy resource facility for women in the South Plains. She says they'll continue to fight until this bill is passed. "They better be scared. Texas is a pro-life state, and that's not going to change any time soon," she said.
At the core of this debate are the restrictions SB5 would put on abortion clinics across the state. Abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy would be banned. These clinics would also have to follow the strict rules and regulations applied to surgical clinics.
"It would have made safe, legal abortions nearly inaccessible to the majority of Texas women," NARAL Pro-Choice Executive Director Heather Busby said.
Critics of the bill say following those strict guidelines would close nearly all abortion clinics in Texas. Out of the 42 clinics, only five would stay open in large metropolitan areas like Houston, Austin, Dallas and San Antonio. That means Lubbock's abortion clinic would also be closed.
"Most women have abortions very early in their pregnancies in the first trimester. I know this would have pushed more women back into later terms because of not being able to get to resources to get to the clinics," Busby said. "Or it would have caused them to resort to desperate measures."
Pro-life supporters like Haga disagree. "These women keep talking about fighting for their rights. Well I'm a woman and I want this bill passed," she said. "It's about safety. I obviously would like all abortions to be banned, but this is protecting women just as much as it is protecting the unborn."
Haga says putting these tighter restrictions on clinics will ensure safer procedures when women go to get abortions.
Regardless of what side you're on, the debate will continue. Governor Rick Perry announced on Wednesday another special session will be held on July 1st to discuss the abortion bill.
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