Monday | July 24, 2017
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After setback, Texas GOP set to try again to restrict abortions

<p>Associated Press</p><p>Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, left, who filibustered an abortion bill, reacts as time expires Wednesday in Austin, Texas. Amid the deafening roar of abortion rights supporters, Texas Republicans huddled around the Senate podium to pass new limitations on abortion, but the vote was not completed before midnight.</p><p>Associated Press</p><p>Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks to reporters at a restaurant in New York on Wednesday.</p>

By CHRIS TOMLINSON

Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — After a one-woman filibuster and a raucous crowd helped derail a GOP-led effort to restrict Texas abortions, Gov. Rick Perry announced Wednesday that he’s calling lawmakers back next week to try again.

Perry ordered the Legislature to meet July 1 to begin 30 more days of work. Like the first special session, which ended in chaos overnight, the second one will include on its agenda a Republican-backed plan that critics say would close nearly every abortion clinic across the state and impose other widespread limits on the procedure.

“I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas,” Perry said in a statement. “Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn.”

The first session’s debate over abortion restrictions led to the most chaotic day in the Texas Legislature in modern history, starting with a marathon filibuster and ending with a down-to-the wire, frenetic vote marked by questions about whether Republicans tried to break chamber rules and jam the measure through.

The governor can convene as many extra sessions as he likes and sets the agenda of what lawmakers can work on. Also listed on the session’s agenda are separate bills to boost highway funding and deal with a juvenile justice issue.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who oversees the flow of legislation in the Senate, hinted that another special session was coming when he told lawmakers “see you soon” after the first session adjourned.

The entire process starts over, with bills that must be filed by individual lawmakers, undergo a public hearing and be passed out of committee before they can be con