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Texas House Committee Moves Abortion Bill Forward
Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:14 PM CDT
Another vocal late night session at the Texas State Capitol. More than 1,000 people signed up to speak on House Bill 2, but fewer than 100 actually got the chance.
Just after midnight, the State Affairs Committee voted 8-3 to send the bill through to the full House, despite some members wanting to keep the debate going. As DPS cleared the crowd, they weren’t about to go quietly and could be heard chanting the whole time as they were moved outside.
Hundreds of demonstrators on both sides of the issue filled the hall of the Capitol Extension Rotunda around midnight.
"This is the only chance we get,” said Ken Johnson, of Austin. “We can't even stay until the end. We're being kicked out with five minutes to go."
Johnson had waited since 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to speak but never got the chance.
"You can't tell if you're name is being called,” said Johnson. “This isn't democracy. I'm sorry. It's just not right"
Numbers from earlier in the evening showing more people testified for the bill than against, though many pro-choice advocates questioned how the speakers were chosen
"It was first come first serve, and the pro-life people showed up earlier this morning," said Adam Cahn, a conservative blogger and pro-life activist.
Besides more pro life demonstrators in blue, this public hearing also had more DPS troopers on hand than at previous hearings on a similar bill.
More than 2,000 people registered a position on the bill and chose not to testify. The full House meets again July 8 following the holiday weekend.