NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A number of Republican state politicians have made their way to North Texas today, all to attend and take part in the 43rd annual National Right to Life Convention.
Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst, Attorney General Greg Abbott and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz will all attend the event, being held at the Hyatt Regency DFW.
Before the general session began National Right to Life president Carol Tobias took to the podium, saying, "The people at this convention all have a love for life and a respect for the dignity of every human life. And we have the determination necessary to keep working until that day when all innocent human life is protected."
The general session opened at 10 a.m. and featured an address by Governor Perry, who talked about the historic filibuster in the Texas Senate that put the brakes on legislation that would have sharply restricted abortions in the state. Speaking to the group Perry called the filibuster a, "…hijacking of the democratic process."
Fort Worth Senator Wendy Davis held out for more than 11 hours in the Democratic filibuster attempt. Chanting crowds then rallied and ran out the clock for passing Senate Bill 5, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and enact restrictions that would effectively shut down all abortion clinics in the state.
Thursday Perry told the right-to-lifers,"They [protestors] demonstrated that even if they lose at the ballot box… they'll resort to mob tactics to force their minority agenda on the people of Texas."
The successful filibuster led the governor to announce Wednesday afternoon that he's calling a second Special Session. Perry said, "I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas. Through their duly elected representatives, the citizens of our state have made crystal clear their priorities for our great state. Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn."
Among other things, the second Special Session will give the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature an extra 30 days to pass the new limits on abortion. Perry received a standing ovation at the convention when he said he was, "Bringing lawmakers back to finish their business."
Event organizers say the Right to Life convention, "brings together grassroots leaders of the right-to-life movement to exchange ideas, share information and join together in the common goal of restoring legal protection for all innocent human life." This year's convention is scheduled to include more than 70 workshops and general sessions.
"We've got a lot of speakers who are going to be addressing specific right to life issues – abortion, euthanasia, [and] the killing of baby girls in China with their forced abortion policy. We've just got a lot of different topics," Tobias said.
The National Right to Life Convention runs through Saturday.