Wichita Falls, Tex. native and gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott addressed a large anti-abortion rally at the state Capitol Saturday, according to an Associated Press article which ran in the Wichita Falls Times Record News newspaper, Sunday, Jan. 26. Abbott who is currently serving as Texas 50th Attorney General, is the top law enforcement officer in the Lone Star State.
Organizers of the Texas Rally for Life campaign scheduled the event to coincide with the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. About 2,000 anti-abortion demonstrators heard Abbott say, "The most important issue in Texas is not taking lives, it is saving lives."
Abbott also referred to "a little-known state senator running for governor who seized on the publicity generated by her nearly 13-hour filibuster last June. Her filibuster temporarily delayed a bill that banned abortion after 20 weeks and placed new restrictions on abortion providers. Although he did not mention her by name,most people assumed he was referring to the leading Democratic candidate for governor Wendy Davis. The Republican-dominated Texas Legislature passed the bill in a special session called by Gov. Rick Perry.
Abbott further said to the cheering crowd, "The person who led the fight for late-term abortion is now running to govern this great state. She's partnering with Planned Parenthood to return Texas to late-term abortion on demand."
Davis spokesperson Rebecca Acuna defended the filibuster as a stand for women's rights. "Senator Davis fought to stop a law that is an abuse of power by politicians like Greg Abbott."
Davis did not attend the anti-abortion rally.
The bill Davis filibustered against also required that abortions be performed at ambulatory surgical centers. It also required that doctors who perform abortions obtain admitting privileges at a hosopital within 30 miles, and that nonsurgical abortions needed to take place in a surgical center
The law did lead to the closing of several abortion clinics that couldn't meet standards. There is currently a lawsuit in which Planned Parenthood has sued to try to overturn the law as an unconstitutional restriction of women's rights.
The bill is actually no more restrictive against abortions than the laws of several liberal European countries which also make abortions after 20 months illegal.
Abbott will clearly continue supporting restricting abortions if he is elected governor while Davis will create an atmosphere which allows more abortions in the Lone Star State.
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