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State Rep. Susan King reacts to abortion filibuster

By Kristen Pope, Reporter, kpope@ktxs.com
Published On: Jun 26 2013 07:52:20 PM CDT
Updated On: Jun 27 2013 09:08:38 AM CDT
AUSTIN, Texas -

On Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Rick Perry called for a second special session to begin July 1.  

The Texas Senate failed to pass a bill Tuesday night that would have imposed strict limitations on abortions, including banning abortions on or after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requiring all abortions to be performed in a clinical setting.

A more than 10 hour filibuster led by a Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis delayed a vote on the bill until the special session officially ended at midnight. 

The chamber and capital building was filled with hundreds of supporters and protestors of the bill.  State Rep. Susan King (R-Abilene) was present during the testimony and demonstration. 

"I've never seen anything quite like it," Rep. King said. "Even though some of the accounts may say they were disruptive and problematic, I felt that with numbers that were there and the very personal and sensitive nature of the discussion, that was not my opinion."

After hours of testimony from Davis and floor debate about challenges and points of order, it was unclear whether the vote on the bill was actually done before the session ended.

A review of the clock finally indicated voting began after midnight. King, who is also a health care professional, said ultimately the filibuster was successful.

"I can't separate the fact that I'm a nurse and have been," King said. "I can't separate the fact that I'm a mother and a grandmother. These are all very personal issues to a woman."

King said the issue, for now, is in the hands of patients and their doctors.

"Women have a constitutional right to a safe and legal abortion within certain pentameters," King said. 

Perry's agenda for the second special session is much the same as the first. It includes legislation relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers and facilities; legislation relating to the funding of transportation infrastructure projects; and legislation to establish a mandatory sentence of life with parole for a capital felony committed by a 17-year-old offender.