A bill that would have given Texas the toughest anti-abortion laws in the country has been defeated. But state Republicans thought they had passed it.
Chaos broke out in Austin after the Senate had announced the bill passed around midnight. Democrats said the vote came too late and early this morning Lt. Governor David Dewhurst confirmed that the bill did not pass. State Senator John Whitmire told KTRH early this morning it was the right call.
“I am pleased. I thought rules were changed to take up the bill,” Whitmire said.
The controversy came after State Senator Wendy Davis from Fort Worth began to filibuster the bill early on Tuesday morning. That filibuster was suspended by Dewhurst after she went off topic. The Senate tried to vote but Whitmire said the loud crowd in the gallery prevented it.
“The audience started chanting at about 10 to 12. So as the leadership tried to vote no one could here. The vote came in at 12:02 this morning. It was invalid,” Whitmire explained.
While the bill is dead right now, Whitmire says it is possible the debate will return soon.
“It can be brought back if we have another special session. There’s some speculation we could have one soon. There’s some speculation we could have it in the fall,” Whitmire stated.
There has been no word from Governor Rick Perry if he will call another special session.