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Gov. Rick Perry at the Texas Capitol in May 2013. TEXAS TRIBUNE PHOTO by BOB DAEMMRICH

Gov. Rick Perry at the Texas Capitol in May 2013. TEXAS TRIBUNE PHOTO by BOB DAEMMRICH

by JAY ROOT

Hours after Democrats won a rare victory by blocking a restrictive abortion bill, Republican Gov. Rick Perry has called a second special session to take up the issue again.

Perry also put transportation funding and a juvenile justice measure on the agenda for the session, which is set to begin July 1.

“I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas. Through their duly elected representatives, the citizens of our state have made crystal clear their priorities for our great state,” Perry said. “Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn. Texans want a transportation system that keeps them moving. Texans want a court system that is fair and just. We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do.”

The governor had been almost universally urged by conservative grassroots activists and Republican lawmakers to call a new session after Democrats, with the help of boisterous activists in the Senate gallery, killed abortion restrictions in the final seconds of the first special session, which ended in chaos Tuesday night.

What’s not immediately clear is if Perry will make good on his vow earlier to make a decision about his own political future by July 1. Now that there’s a new session about to start, he might choose to delay an announcement so that he won’t be considered a lame duck while legislation is being debated.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said in a statement: “I congratulate Gov. Perry for his decision to call a second special session to address the issues derailed by the actions of an angry mob in the closing moments of the first. Texas is unlike any other state because our leaders are willing to stand up in the face of pressure from Washington and special interest groups in the pursuit of freedom. I look forward to seeing the members of the Legislature on July 1st as we once again take up our charge to advocate for all of Texas and put the finishing touches on one of the most successful sessions in decades.”

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JAY ROOT reports for The Texas Tribune where this story was originally published. It is reprinted here through a news partnership between the Tribune and the San Marcos Mercury.

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38 thoughts on “Perry calls second special session to pass abortion bill

  1. Can they close the floor to spectators this time? Mob rule cannot be allowed to dictate the course of our legislative activities….

  2. Freedom of speech is one thing – disrupting the proceedings of our government with unruly behavior seems to be another thing entirely. Again, we cannot allow mob rule to dictate the course of our government.

    It isn’t like the bill will survive anyway – not with the 20-week restriction on it. Courts have pretty universally stuck to 24 weeks as the point of viability, and Roe v. Wade prohibits restrictions on abortions before the point of viability. It’ll eventually pass – Perry will see to that – and then it will get shot down in court.

    Which begs the question…..what’s the point of the whole exercise, other than to give Perry some publicity and to give Ms. Wendy a chance to kick start her gubernatorial campaign?

  3. Agree 100% Scott. However, Dano has more than likely never experienced his own government actively discriminating against him. The protesters were heros to many, many women in Texas.

    Dano this isn’t the first time Senator Davis (Miss Wendy ~ PLEASE) has filibustered, this time it has made her a hero in Texas and many feel she should run for governor now, but to take what she did and reduce it to jump starting her campaign is insulting to all women and those who support their rights.

  4. The protestors achieved nothing in the long run. Neither did Davis. All they achieved was the need for another special session, which will cost the taxpayers of Texas how much again? The bill will be re-introduced at the next special session and it will eventually pass. Then it will almost certainly be overturned by the courts, for reasons I mentioned above. It’s simply a bad law.

    That being said, I’m not a big fan of people making noise just to make noise – which is exactly what both those disruptive protestors and Davis did on Tuesday night. If you think the behavior of the mob was appropriate, then I feel badly for you….and if you think Davis wasn’t building political brownie points with her filibuster, then you’re either being willfully obtuse or you’re far too naive.

    The problem with the abortion debate, as with most political debates, is that too many people pick a side and rush directly as far as they can to the fringes of it. That there is a large contingent on the far right that would ban all abortions regardless of circumstance and just as large a contingent on the far left that will settle for nothing short of abortion on demand with absolutely no restrictions.

    The best answer, as always, is somewhere in the middle. But those voices get drowned out in all of the screaming by the radicals…..

  5. Also, I question the use of the term “hero” to describe Davis.

    Heroes do heroic things. She…..talked for 11 hours. What’s heroic about that? Never was she in any actual or perceived danger; never did she do anything extraordinary; and it can be argued that the goal she was fighting for was an ignoble one.

    She spent 11 hours talking in an effort to preserve the right of women to terminate unwanted pregnancies after week 20 and to prevent abortion clinics from being held to the same standards as outpatient surgery centers.

    In doing so, she made herself the darling of a political group that she hopes to get votes from in her upcoming bid for Governor. And you can’t dent it – when interviewed, she said “I would be lying if I told you that I hadn’t had aspirations to run for a statewide office.” And it wasn’t spontaneous – it was a planned stunt (she wore sneakers to session).

    Hero? Not to me. “Political opportunist” is more like it.

    But then, I’m a cynic.

  6. I find it very disturbing that some people are referring to the protesters as an angry mob. This is the beauty of our country people! Being able to influence law by making your voice heard is democracy in action. This actually gave me hope that our system is not broken for the first time in a very long time especially in Texas. I know it’s shocking to conservatives but contrary to belief there is a large portion of people in Texans who oppose the draconian laws being crammed down our throats by the Conservatives. And I know it pains Conservatives greatly to here that woman are not going to go quietly back to the kitchen. I thought we established this in the 2012 election. For the Pro-life woman on the right I just want to say to you that I applaud you for having strong convictions and morals, I might even share some of those with you and I hope that through education and outreach eventually abortions are a rare occurrence. But you have to respect the fact that we live in a country where woman have the right to choose what they do with their own bodies. It is extremely hypocritical for Republicans to push for small government when it comes time to pay taxes or buy guns but push for big government when they want to push a moral agenda. Which is it?

  7. @Scott,Melissa,Lila: Well said but actions are needed. It is time to start contributing to her campaign account and the accounts for the other Texas senators that stood with her. They were an amazing team that used whatever legal means to overcome a daunting political challenge. Contrast the actions of the Dems with those of the Republicans who illegally changed a government document. Not to mention the cost of 30k a day for the last special session and now the second special session for a bill that will most probably be overturned (after spending more public funds defending). I love how Republicans want to make Government small enough to fit in a woman’s vagina. Almost as much as I like how Republicans love to spend dollars to save pennies. Those Dems made me proud to be a Texan.

  8. How can ANYONE, Rep or Dem, feel that it is ok, even humane, to kill a fetus at 5 months? This woman is not a hero, she is a monster. This has nothing to do with women’s right, no woman should have the right to kill anyone, including her own child. I thank Gov. Perry for standing up for what is right.

  9. Leslie: There is an established process for affecting political change in America. Vote in our elections. Lobby for causes you support. Campaign for the candidate of your choice. Showing up at the lege and screaming so loud that they can’t take a vote isn’t part of the process. There’s nothing to be proud of when people behave poorly…lack of decorum is already a huge problem in our society.

    Also, you may want to draw back on the stereotyping of “Conservatives” when it comes to abortion or anything else. You’re not going to advance your agenda by insulting the other side. My guess is that if you actually took the time to talk to a few conservatives about the issue, you may be surprised to find what their real views are – and I’ll give you a hint: “get back in the kitchen” isn’t one of them.

    Steven: I also question the point of bringing this bill up again. Or bringing it up in the first place. Legally, it has virtually no chance of surviving judicial review. Politically, all it has done is given the Democrats someone to rally around in Davis (and made Perry look silly). Even the “base” isn’t going to really like the bill simply because they all know it won’t survive. So what the heck were they thinking???

  10. Dano as long as your conservative reps keep up the war on woman and keep making ignorant statements my comments and stereotypes fit. And I wonder do you think it was poor behavior on the Republicans part to change the date on the electronic records? It seems they can’t win unless they cheat whether it’s redistricting or changing records in the middle of the night so please don’t lecture on proper behavior and decorum.

  11. “What the heck are they thinking?”

    This sort of stuff plays good in the target marketing campaign Governor Coyote Killa’ and his handlers are preparing for the 2016 Presidential Primary. Myself, I don’t give the base on either side the credit of thinking practically or critically or reasonably in most cases, certainly not about pet cases like this. That would be far too rational for the political equivalent of face painting football fans with their shirts off in Green Bay during January.

    I think this is exactly the kind of stuff that cuts through the clutter and wins their approval. It wouldn’t play too well in the general election if he made it there, but at that point you run to the center and pin it on Dewhurst. I’m even going to be so cynical as to suggest that Perry’s recent tour to New York City to talk about “Texas Business” (on our dime, by the way), is much less about attracting jobs and more about positioning for another run.

  12. I hope not. On a national scene, Perry is “damaged goods”. Another failed run at the Republican nom would just be embarrassing for him.

    On a national level, someone is going to have to appeal to the center to win elections. Obama somehow managed to do that, despite having the most liberal agenda of any President in memory.

    Passing a law that will be viewed by most people as “draconian” will play to Perry’s “base”, but the base isn’t enough to win a Presidential election anymore….not by a long shot. If Republicans want the White House back, they’re going to have to win votes from women, Hispanics, and young voters.

    Either that, or Obama will continue to screw stuff up to the point where the next Dem nom won’t have a snowball’s chance – much like the Republicans knew they didn’t have a chance in 08 (or did anyone else think that McCain was a serious nominee and not just a ‘lifetime achievement award’?)

  13. Oh, I don’t think Perry’s infomercial has much of a chance of gaining traction. Right or not, his national brand has taken on the impression of a goofball and that’s almost impossible to overcome with our ever so deep-thinking body politic who cares and understands things like policy and taxes to such a great extent. But, who knows? How many people that voted for Perry the past 17 election cycles can explain in detail why they did so (well, other than the fact that he had an [R] by his name; well, at least ever since he changed it from a [D] when that was the direction the winds blew)?

    Great politicians=great marketers=great illusionists, so who knows? At any rate, God bless our leaders who are in it for us little people! Viva Cincinnatus! Whomever wins, we are the true benefactors. Makes me proud…

  14. So, when Rick Perry goes to those northeastern states to proseltyze companies to relocate to Texas, I wonder what enlightened prospective female and male employees think their reproductive rights will be were their companies to come here. It appears that Rick Perry’s priority is to intervene in decisions best left to persons, their medical advisors and their own spiritual counselors. Were I a lady weighing a decison to follow or not my company to Texas, I would consider Perry’s desire to intervene and control. If I were weighing that move, I would be following Senator Davis, her followers and her prevailing here and praying for her success in order to lay to rest one additional vagary in considering such a life changing move to Texas. Go, Wendy!

  15. Mob rule is the order of the day. It works here in San Marcos for the NIMBY’s so it is no doubt some of the same folks would admire it when it happens up the street. Who cares about winning elections and having representatives represent? Just shout them down and try some other undemocratic tactics. And I love that Wendy is now the front-runner to be the next to lose the governor’s race. Is that an honor? I think she should have to pay personally for the costs of another special session we could have avoided had she respected the democratic process.

    Dano, to say that this bill is dead in the Courts is a broad overstatement. They may reform the week limit back to 24 weeks or something, but the rest of it should generally stay in place. There is no Constitutional right to unfettered abortion, and there are other states with just as tough a law.

  16. -Dano: You said, “The problem with the abortion debate, as with most political debates…”

    Abortion is not a political debate. It is one of many of a woman’s choices that encompass her reproductive rights. Passing laws that make abortion illegal or unavailable cost women’s lives and in return the lives of their existing children. These are crimes against women and crimes against children.

    Roe vs. Wade was not decided to increase the number of abortions, it was to insure a woman’s right to have a safe abortion. Family planning, education and contraception prevent abortions.

    Reproductive justice must be fought for and defended when a group of Texas “boys” in the “boys club House and Senate” use their Christian religion to justify taking control of women. The people in the Senate gallery were led out as per the rules of order. The sound level inside the chamber did not go down because of the thousands of Texas women and men who were loudly, legally and peacefully protesting outside the Senate. The changing of the vote record by Republicans however did go unpunished.

    Truly finding center in any present “political” debate would need to begin and occur on the very far left. Why? Because we have adjusted center so many times and drifted so far to the right that the Taliban is beginning to look moderate.

  17. “Law is often but the tyrant’s will,” and that people needed to be vigilant against any laws that “violate the rights of the individual.”

    Thomas Jefferson

    Wendy, “:Remember the Alamo !!!!!””

    How soon we forget our history.

  18. @ skeptical ~ “I think she should have to pay personally for the costs of another special session we could have avoided had she respected the democratic process.”

    I think Perry should have to pay personally for the cost of the session Monday as HE has no respect for the democratic process. The bill died on the floor ~ end of story. As others have said, this will wind up not only costing another 30K, but SB5 WILL be overturned, so it’s a total waste of time/money and just a soap box for Perry to perch himself on to win points with far right wackos. This bill isn’t just about 20 or 24 mos ~ it is about the availability of women’s health care being cut drastically in Texas. Health care does not mean abortion, it means yearly exams, and other female health issues such as birth control which will result in less abortions.

    We all have our opinions, but I maintain that I am proud that Texans who care about women’s rights(including Davis) achieved their goal of killing SB5, it’s an embarrassment to me as a citizen of the US that it will be brought back and will likely pass.

  19. Yeah Skeptical, I’m with you. The rabble should keep their thoughts to themselves and let the “democratic” process work the way it is designed, where the rich, influential aristocratic class calls all the shots. It’s much less messy that way. Plebeians stay home!

    PS: I’m going to guess that if this had been a right wing so-called mob shouting down some liberal target market pet bill most of the same people who are aghast that people showed up to express their displeasure here would be fine in that case.

  20. @ skeptical: “Mob rule is the order of the day. It works here in San Marcos for the NIMBY’s”

    Really? Capes Camp, Buie Tract, Retreat, Hillside Ranch, etc. etc. ring a bell?

    Maybe once(ever): Sessoms.

  21. Leave it to skeptical to work the “NIMBY’s” into this discussion, I think it must be imposible for this person to post on the Mecury w/out bringing that into mix…or maybe its only when I post…hmmmm

    Exactly Watson after almost TWO years it worked ONCE. And I spoke, wrote letters, and organized protests (even sued *gasp*) to protect these places and Buie is the only one that is actually in my backyard. I can say that of many other people who did the same, some of which don’t live in any of the affected areas ~ NIMBY is just a little word skeptical likes to toss around to paint those who would protect the environment and ALL established neighborhoods in SM b/c he/she *thinks* it makes everyone less credible b/c its posted on the innerwebs (or the webernet as my daughter would call it). ZZZZZZZZZZZ

    It appears that the Buie ship has sailed too, as the CC didn’t understand they were within their rights to terminate the contract at will, scrap it and start over as some said they’d much prefer to do.

  22. Not to sidetrack the discussion, because (like most) I looooooove to talk about abortion, but I am curious where the border of the back yard is. I would think that it is the 200 feet that the city takes into consideration when petitions and notifications are circulated.

  23. Wasn’t talking about you Dano. I’ll credit you with intellectual consistency from what I’ve seen. I wasn’t even talking about anyone in particular, just making a general statement about people’s propensity toward basing their opinions based upon party affiliation, not the concept at stake. See the D’s who railed against Bush while the R’s had his back. Then the same R’s yell about Obama doing much the same thing Bush did while the same D’s are in support now. Funny how that works, eh? Meanwhile, most of us are too blind/apathetic/uninformed to call them on it and the entrenched special interests laugh all the way to the bank at our expense.

  24. “Truly finding center in any present “political” debate would need to begin and occur on the very far left. Why? Because we have adjusted center so many times and drifted so far to the right that the Taliban is beginning to look moderate.”

    Congratulations, Lenny Moore. With that comment you may have just said the single most ridiculous thing I have ever read on the internet. Your prize awaits you over there in the corner…..

  25. My bad then Keith. I looked back through the thread and I seemed to be the only one calling the protestors a “mob” here so I took your comment to be directed at me.

    Generally speaking you’re right on target. Our political system has turned into a bunch of screaming ninnies on the far ends of the spectrum, with a ever-more disinterested majority sitting in the middle.

    I generally consider myself a fiscal conservative with more centrist views on social topics – what most might consider a Libertarian, actually. But with the absence of a strong Libertarian party, I tend to vote Republican more often than not. But I absolutely cringe when I see politicians, voters….anyone really….get up there and try to stumble through the “whys” of a particular issue.

    The problem, as Charles Bukowski noted, is that “the intelligent people are full of doubts while the stupid ones are full of confidence.” Those who want to yell and scream about a topic the loudest are usually people who haven’t bothered to educate themselves about the topic sufficiently to be allowed to talk. These people skew the national rhetoric so sharply that it’s no wonder we have gridlock in Washington. Our representatives ARE A MIRROR OF US AS A SOCIETY, people.

    Whether it’s those on the left who claim that any restriction on abortion is “war against women” or that any criticism of Obama is “racist” or those on the right who are against gay marriage “because God said so” or “it just ain’t right”….they all need to just. shut. up.

    American cannot continue to exist as a warring ground for ignorant screamers from the fringes of the left and right. Until those in the center step up and take the political process away from these extremists, our death spiral as a nation will continue.

    /rant

  26. Melissa, you did inspire my comparison by celebrating similarly after both issues and previously celebrating the triumph of the dedicated few over the silent majority. It was a little low for me but I was in a cranky place. I still love your passion and even that of the Austin wingnut protestors. I just would prefer it be met with stronger, unifying leaders here and in Austin. Shout away, and for you and Ted, I will abandon “NIMBY” and replace it with “Not Evers”.

  27. In San Marcos we have quite a few BANANAs. They propose to Build Abosolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything.

  28. 95 is funny in his skewed views, I’ll give him props for a new local acronym.

    Ted Buie was messed back in 2010 when they got their MF zoning. The backyards of my neighbors are only 150 ft from the development, however the boundaries of the project were moved to exclude the super majority vote (don’t understand how they are back to 150 ft…I’m working on that one). In addition Franklin Square’s (my hood unfortunately) President and bookkeeper at the time sent a letter to the city and appeared at meetings saying that 100% of residents were in favor of the zoning b/c they gave us some flood plain….it was totally ridiculous ~ they both moved out the following summer w/ not so much as an adios. Someone had the forethought during the original and horrible land development agreement to add a stipulation that it had to come back to city council before it could be developed and that’s the only reason we got another crack at it.

    That zoning was based on an “allegedly” fraudulent geologic assessment, a few CC members are on record as saying as much. We’d like to get them to perform a real assessment so that all features on the section currently being platted are accounted for so the builders can allow for the proper buffers, that’s really all we could hope for. Still 95 acres of this extremely sensitive aquifer recharge zone land is a huge concession that should be applauded, but not at the expense of another chunk of land, it’s the aquifer we are talking about.

  29. The spectators at the Capitol didn’t become an unruly mob until Dewhurst threw out the Senate Rules and lied openly to the entire Senate. I’ve witnessed over a dozen filibusters over the past 26 1/2 years and on this one Dewhurst didn’t follow Senate tradition or rules. The whole I don’t have to recognize Senators in the correct order for motions looked very Tom Craddick like. If there was a break down in the Senate the spectators didn’t start it.

  30. If men were like seahorses and carried the conceived, this issue would have been settled a long time ago.
    I stand with Wendy (even in pink sneakers if required)
    P.S. Love the acronym BANANAs! The problem is finished product is normally a RETREAT from the outlines.

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