had seen the emotion, and watched it play out, I was just as shell-shocked as
some of the senators.
"It was an incredible, unbelievable subversion of the process."
She and other bill supporters, easily identifiable by their blue shirts, were escorted out of the Senate gallery to a separate area in the Capitol. There, they waited behind locked doors -- as family members worried about their safety -- until DPS troopers could safely guide them off Capitol grounds.
Wright, still concerned about the high emotions from last week, didn't encourage fellow supporters to overwhelm the Capitol on Monday.
"We are putting all of our efforts into the things that matter: attending committee meetings, giving testimony, being present for votes, getting the bill passed -- not a PR campaign," she said.
State Sen. Dan Patrick, who recently announced he will challenge Dewhurst for his job, said there won't be another filibuster in the Senate on this topic.
"I plan to stop Sen. Davis or any Democrat from attempting, for the second time, to slow down or kill our package of pro-life legislation," said Patrick, R-Houston. "Sen. Davis and the mob had their say last week. It's time to pass this bill.
"It's time the pro-life community had their voice heard."
'Got your back'
Despite predictions of quick passage, opponents aren't willing to stand down.
Like Republicans, they'll monitor the bill's progress and drive to Austin when possible to testify or be present for votes on the measure.
"We need to stay plugged in to the process of the bill and where it is," said Lohse, a full-time student at TCU, who introduced Wendy Davis to the crowd at a "high noon" rally at the Capitol Monday. "In the past, legislation like this has been able to just go through.
"It's pretty obvious from the way the majority party conducted themselves during the last session, they didn't expect a lot of opposition and didn't put it on a fast time line. ... [But now], women in Texas are paying attention."
Planned Parenthood, MoveOn and the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas are just a few of the organizations working to help drum up opposition to the bill.
They had some celebrity help at Monday's rally outside the Capitol.
Dixie Chicks singer Natalie Maines, a Texan who famously took a public swipe at then-President George W. Bush over the Iraq War in 2003, sang the national anthem and the song she wrote in response to backlash to her comment to Bush, "I'm Not Ready to Make Nice." The crowd around her waved dozens of handmade signs with messages including, "Separate Your Church from My Uterus," and a plane circled above pulling the banner: "Stand With Wendy."
Inside, state Sen. Donna Campbell, a New Braunfels Republican and emergency room physician, wore her doctor's coat and scrubs as she spoke in favor of the bill, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks and impose new restrictions on providers that could force all but five clinics statewide to close.
"I am thankful I am a voice in the government to stand for life," Campbell said.
Some blue-clad supporters of the proposed restrictions held a prayer vigil near the Senate gallery as nearly 75 people recited the Lord's Prayer.
In other hallways, anti-abortion activists sang "Amazing Grace," and were met with jeers from abortion-rights demonstrators who chanted: "My body, my life, my choice to decide!"
This report includes material from The Associated Press.
Anna M. Tinsley, 817-390-7610 Twitter: @annatinsley
(c)2013 Fort Worth Star-Telegram
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