Texas Again Gears Up for Nasty Abortion Fight

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Thousands of activists from both sides descended on the Texas Capitol building Tuesday as the abortion debate came back to life in the Lone Star state.

After a bruising defeat just two weeks ago, Texas Republicans are trying again to pass restrictions on late-term abortion -- this time in a special session.

"This is going to pass," one GOP lawmaker said. "Peaceful, diligence, persistence, patience."
    
A House vote is scheduled for Tuesday, but first legislators will spend hours debating the measure.
    
If it passes, the bill would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy on the belief that unborn babies can feel pain by that stage.
    
The measure would also require abortion clinics and abortion doctors to comply with the same standards as the rest of the medical field.
    
Critics say the bill would shut down most of the abortion clinics in Texas.

"We think it's bad for the state of Texas to be waging this kind of fight against the women of this state, but we will fight it," state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, said.

The initial House bill failed after Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, filibustered for nearly 10 hours and then unruly protestors continued to run out the clock.

"People have relayed to me that never in the history of Texas have they seen that type of a mob rule come in and discombobulate a legislative session," Gov. Rick Perry said.

Perry called a special session so lawmakers could take up the measure again. This time around fevers continue running high.

Last week, video emerged of anti-abortion protestors singing "Amazing Grace" as abortion rights activists chanted back, "Hail Satan."

Perry vowed that this time, the bill will pass.

"Texas is a place where we defend life," he said. "I mean, that's the powerful message here. And that's what we're focused on."    

This could be Perry's last chance to push the measure through. He announced Thursday that he will not seek a fourth term in office.    
 
Meanwhile, a poll conducted by the University of Texas and the Texas Tribune found that 62 percent of Texas residents support a ban on late-term abortions.

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