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>>

  • UPDATE: Thomas Liles indicted on tampering with physical evidence in Quitman toddlers death case

    UPDATE: Thomas Liles indicted on tampering with physical evidence in Quitman toddlers death case

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:20 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:20:10 GMT
    Thomas Liles (photo: Wood Co. Jail) Thomas Liles (photo: Wood Co. Jail)
    UPDATE: QUITMAN (KYTX) - A Wood County grand jury has indicted Thomas Wayne Liles on a charge of tampering with physical evidence after his girlfriend's children were found dead July 24, 2014.More >>
    UPDATE: QUITMAN (KYTX) - A Wood County grand jury has indicted Thomas Wayne Liles on a charge of tampering with physical evidence after his girlfriend's children were found dead July 24, 2014. More >>
  • Obama outlines expanded plan to fight Ebola

    Obama outlines expanded plan to fight Ebola

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:03 PM EDT2014-09-16 21:03:55 GMT
    (Photo: Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images)(Photo: Mandel Ngan, AFP/Getty Images)
    Calling Ebola a threat to both global health and national security threat, President Obama said Tuesday he is sending 3,000 troops to West Africa to help contain the deadly virus and prevent it from spreading to the United States and across the globe.More >>
    Calling Ebola a threat to both global health and national security threat, President Obama said Tuesday he is sending 3,000 troops to West Africa to help contain the deadly virus and prevent it from spreading to the United States and across the globe.More >>
  • Peterson's attorney responds to new allegations he injured another son

    Peterson's attorney responds to new allegations he injured another son

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:18 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:18:09 GMT
    HOUSTON (KHOU) -- New accusations against Adrian Peterson come from another mother who has another four-year-old son of Peterson, and also involve Peterson striking his boy as a form of discipline.Peterson's attorney Rusty Hardin responded with the following statement:The allegation of another investigation into Adrian Peterson is simply not true. This is not a new allegation, it's one that is unsubstantiated and was shopped around to authorities in two states over a year ago and nothing came...More >>
    HOUSTON (KHOU) -- New accusations against Adrian Peterson come from another mother who has another four-year-old son of Peterson, and also involve Peterson striking his boy as a form of discipline.Peterson's attorney Rusty Hardin responded with the following statement:The allegation of another investigation into Adrian Peterson is simply not true. This is not a new allegation, it's one that is unsubstantiated and was shopped around to authorities in two states over a year ago and nothing came...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.