East Texas Legislators say bill will eventually pass - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

East Texas Legislators say bill will eventually pass

Posted: Updated:
© Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth (The Texas Tribune) © Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth (The Texas Tribune)

EAST TEXAS (TYLER MORNING TELEGRAPH) - Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, spoke for hours on end Tuesday to prevent the passage of Senate Bill 5, which would enact sweeping restrictions on the Texas abortion industry, but several East Texas legislators said the bill still had a chance of becoming law.

The 13-hour filibuster came at the end of the special legislative session, which ended after press deadline at midnight. If Sen. Davis could keep speaking long enough, the time allotted for debate will run out, and the bill would die along with other legislation yet to be debated on the floor.

Sen. Davis' only threats were her own physical needs — she could not sit down, she could not leave, she could not lean, and she could not drift off topic. She spent much of the early hours reading testimonial letters regarding the negative impact the bill would have on women's access to clinical abortions. Fellow opponents of the bill were doing their best to aid her by conducting a question and answer period, allowing her a chance to catch her breath and have a drink.

 

East Texas senators were concerned that she may be able to finish the 13-hour speech.

"At this point, it's feasible that the filibuster will kill (the bill)," state Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler, said Tuesday afternoon. "It actually looks pretty doable. People have gone on longer before."

Eltife said he supported the bill.

 

Other senators were skeptical that she would last.

"We have the votes — 20 senators said they would support this bill, which is almost two thirds," said state Sen. Bob Deuell, R-Greenville, who also is a licensed medical doctor. "It comes down to whether she can speak for 13 hours and still obey the rules. We are running out of time."

Deuell spent about an hour questioning Sen. Davis Tuesday afternoon.

Even if the filibuster succeeds, Deuell said he expected the measure would eventually become law.

"If Gov. Perry calls another session though, we will be able to get this through," he said. "And I think he will."

If a special session is called, state Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, said he thought it would pass.

"There are more senators for it than against it, and most of the Texas people are for it, so it's really just a procedural maneuver used to thwart the majority," Hughes said late Tuesday afternoon. "Many of us, including myself, have already asked Gov. Perry to call another special session if this bill doesn't come to a vote today. ... I just hope it is allowed to come to a vote, because if it does, it will pass."

Deuell was quick to add that it was not an "anti-abortion bill."

"This just raises the standards on abortion clinics," he said. "This just increases safety for women. It doesn't have to close one clinic."

Others supported the bill for different reasons.

"I support this bill for a number of reasons," state Rep. Matt Schaefer said. "There's one provision that protects infants from 20 weeks on, which is about when they begin to feel pain. I believe in the right to life, and these infants are certainly entitled to protection. But then, basically, this will strengthen medical standards. It will have positive impacts on the women, by making these abortion clinics meet the same standards as ambulatory centers."

Hughes said, in his opinion, the bill was the most important in the session.

"The bill has a provision which would protect babies after five months, by which time scientific tests show they feel pain ..." he said. "However, abortions would still go forward, and it would still protect the mothers from guys like (Dr. Kermit) Gosnell in Philadelphia. That was a house of horrors, and authorities think there might be places like that in Houston and other places. ... This bill would protect mothers and babies from guys like that."

Staff writer Faith Harper contributed to this report

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Mobile meth lab shut down; federal agency collects weapons

    Mobile meth lab shut down; federal agency collects weapons

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 10:17 PM EDT2014-09-03 02:17:20 GMT
    TYLER (KYTX) -- Weapons and drugs were swept up after a local hotel cleaning crew ran into more than they could handle. On Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at approximately 1:00 PM, Tyler Police Officers were dispatched to the Sleep Inn located at 5555 Donnybrook when the hotel cleaning staff entered one of the rooms to clean it and observed several suspicious items lying in the open.More >>
    TYLER (KYTX) -- Weapons and drugs were swept up after a local hotel cleaning crew ran into more than they could handle. On Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at approximately 1:00 PM, Tyler Police Officers were dispatched to the Sleep Inn located at 5555 Donnybrook when the hotel cleaning staff entered one of the rooms to clean it and observed several suspicious items lying in the open.
    More >>
  • Search warrant filed for woman indicted for driving car into Longview crowd

    Search warrant filed for woman indicted for driving car into Longview crowd

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 4:14 PM EDT2014-09-02 20:14:56 GMT
    A Hallsville woman accused of driving into a crowd of about 20 people last fall in South Longview faces new driving charges.
    More >>
    A Hallsville woman accused of driving into a crowd of about 20 people last fall in South Longview faces new driving charges.
    More >>
  • Islamic State releases video depicting another beheading

    Islamic State releases video depicting another beheading

    Tuesday, September 2 2014 3:09 PM EDT2014-09-02 19:09:14 GMT
    (Photo: SITE)(Photo: SITE)
    (USA TODAY) - The terror group Islamic State released a video Tuesday apparently depicting the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.Sotloff, kneeling, says he is "paying the price" for the U.S. intervention in Iraq with his life.More >>
    (USA TODAY) - The terror group Islamic State released a video Tuesday apparently depicting the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.Sotloff, kneeling, says he is "paying the price" for the U.S. intervention in Iraq with his life.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KYTX. All Rights Reserved. Users of this site agree to the Terms of Service, Privacy Notice/Your California Privacy Rights, and Ad Choices.