Texas Senate Passes HB 2 Amid Protestors in Gallery
Just after Midnight, Saturday, the Texas Senate passed HB 2, which bans late-term abortions and add new restrictions to abortions in Texas. The vote was 19-11.
The marathon session for the Senate started Friday amid numerous pro-choice protestors. The protestors were prepared to disrupt senate proceedings for the second time within the past month.
DPS officials [have] been searching bags before letting people into the gallery, requiring them to throw away paper goods such as magazines, receipts, feminine pads and tampons. One DPS officer said authorities had been instructed by the Senate’s sergeant at arms to confiscate anything that could be thrown from the gallery at senators on the floor. She said they had already found objects such as bricks, paint and glitter in bags.
There were also reports of urine and feces being in the possession of the pro-choice legion.
After the passage of HB 2, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (pictured, left) said in an e-mail to supporters, "This vote by the Texas Senate also marked a seminal moment for our republic as law and order prevailed over essentially the same mob that just weeks ago shouted down your duly-elected senators. We all owe our heartfelt thanks to the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Capitol Preservation Board and Senate Republicans who worked closely together to ensure a lively debate did not disrupt the time-honored, orderly process that has served our republic across time.
"In short, the passage of House Bill 2 was a victory for all of Texas. Thank you for your ongoing support and prayers. Let's continue to #Stand4Life," Dewhurst said.
HB 2 now moves on to Governor Rick Perry for his signature. After the vote, Gov. Perry said, “Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life. This legislation builds on the strong and unwavering commitment we have made to defend life and protect women's health. I am proud of our lawmakers, and citizens who tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans.”
Before the final vote was taken on HB 2 and emotional moment occurred in the Senate Chamber. The Dean of the Senate, John Whitmire (D- Houston), asked for recognition of the DPS Troopers stationed in the gallery and throughout the Capitol that kept the peace during the proceedings.
After the applause, Lt. Governor Dewhurst said, "Senator Whitmire, God Bless You, what a great thing to say. And I gotta tell you I got goosebumps looking up at the gallery. There are orange shirts (pro-choice), blue shirts (pro-life), all standing up and applauding. God, makes me proud to be a Texan. It really does."