Crowds converge on Texas Capitol as second special session begin - Dallas News |

Crowds converge on Texas Capitol as second special session begins

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Thousands of pro-choice supporters rallied in Austin on Monday as a second special session of the Texas Legislature began.

The activists were riding a wave of momentum from the filibuster led last week by State Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth that stopped a bill with tough abortion restrictions.

The front lawn of the capitol was a sea of orange, the color pro-choice supporters are wearing, as speaker after speaker rallied the crowd ahead of the 30-day special session. An estimated 5,000 people attended.

"You're the reason I was able to stand for thirteen hours," Davis told the crowd.

Anti-abortion protestors were also at the capitol, wearing blue, but were outnumbered by pro-choice supporters.

Earlier on Monday inside the capitol, hundreds gathered from both sides of the debate. Pro-life supporters sang Amazing Grace while the pro-choice crowd chanted, "My body, my body, my body."

Through the day, there was a heavy presence of DPS troopers.

Both the Texas House and Senate gaveled in the session, but quickly adjourned. Committee hearings are expected to start on Tuesday on the abortion bill.

The bill considered in the first special session had restrictions that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of a pregnancy and require upgrades to clinics that perform abortions. Doctors at the clinics would also need to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.

The tough legislation would likely close a majority of abortion providers in Texas.

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