Republicans in the Texas legislature will try once again to pass sweeping abortion restrictions as they gather Monday for a 30-day special session. And this time, it just might work.
A spokesman for Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, who stood and spoke for more than 12 hours to help kill the bill last week, says she won't filibuster the legislation a second time.
"You can't have a 30-day filibuster," says spokesman Rick Svatora. "The point is [Republicans] mismanaged things so badly the first time around it allowed a filibuster to occur. The Lt. Gov. [David Dewhurst] has pledged he won't allow that to happen this time around."
Speaking at the National Right to Life convention this weekend, Dewhurst, R-Texas, said: "I am not discouraged. We will pass this bill out of the legislature." That doesn't mean the bill will pass without a fight.
Republicans were unable to pass the measures last week in large part because of Davis's filibuster, but also because hundreds of protesters crowded the Texas Capitol just before the midnight deadline and cheered to the point where senators on the floor could not hear over the noise.
The Associated Press reports that protesters have already started to arrive at the Texas State Capitol for a planned rally. "It's their right. The Capitol is their building," says Svatora.
Dewhurst has described the protesters as motivated by "hatred" and "mob rule."
Security has ramped up for the special session, complete with 100 state troopers, and new ropes have appeared outside the Senate chamber, according to the AP.
Any effort to silence voter voices, Svatora says, will be "an insult to people who want to contribute to the democratic process."