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Wendy Davis: Disputed Texas abortion bill likely to pass

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Update (KYTX)-- The Texas House started an all-day debate on Tuesday ahead of a vote on legislation that would impose tough new restrictions on abortions. 

The bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, and put in place new regulations for providers. Exceptions to the ban would only be allowed when the women's life was in imminent danger.

Democrats and women's rights activists have protested the bill for weeks. The measure died in the first special session due to a 13-hour filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Fort Worth Democrat.

The House is scheduled to take a vote following the debate, then the measure would head to the Senate for approval.

With a Republican majority in both the Texas House and Senate, the bill is expected to pass.

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Austin, TX (CNN) - Two weeks after her marathon filibuster against new abortion restrictions in Texas made her instant political celebrity, reality has set in for State Senator Wendy Davis.

Following the launch of a "Stand with Texas Women" bus tour with fellow Democrats to oppose the state's hotly contested abortion bill, Davis conceded to CNN the measure is likely to pass.

"It will be very difficult because unfortunately the voices that have been here crying out against this bill are not going to be heard," Davis told CNN in a brief interview.

"But I don't think it's the end. It's the beginning of a battle line," she added.

Last month, Davis staged an 11-hour filibuster that temporarily stalled the bill, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks and create new, potentially practice-ending requirements for doctors performing the procedures across the state.

Texas Governor Rick Perry responded to the legislative roadblock by calling lawmakers back for a special session to reconsider the measure, essentially assuring its speedy passage through the Republican controlled House and Senate.

Due to tough statehouse rules governing filibusters, top legislative aides in the Texas Capitol said it's unlikely Davis would be able to stop the bill a second time.

"That's probably the case," Davis agreed.

The popular state senator was mum on the subject of running for governor after Perry announced Monday he would not seek a fourth term in office.

"I'm not going to comment on that right now. We've got our hands full trying to beat this bad bill back," Davis said.

Still, she appears to be keeping the door open to a gubernatorial campaign. At the "Stand with Texas Women" rally, Davis repeatedly spoke past the abortion issue, jabbing Perry and top GOP leaders for becoming what she called "a real threat to people's rights."

"This truly is a turning point, a pivotal time for us to step up and take back what our Texas is and should be," Davis told CNN.

Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said it's too early to accept defeat on the abortion issue.

"You never give up," Richards said, holding out hope Republican lawmakers would reconsider.

"You'd hope they might rethink their position. All we can do is make sure is that the voices of women and men and families in this state are heard."

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