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Democrats in Texas who staged an unprecedented filibuster to block restrictions that would reduce the number of abortions, improve safety and require abortionists to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital fell short of their goal, dropping the filibuster before a midnight deadline Tuesday.
But what was described as an “unruly mob” took over the Senate chamber, preventing officials from signing the adopted legislation before the hour at which the legislative session ended, according to a report from AP.
Lt. Gov David Dewhurst was prevented from giving formal finalization to the plan before the deadline passed, effectively killing it, and leaving Republicans considering a call for a special session to finish their work.
The legislation follows the trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell, who was convicted of murder for killing babies – sometimes with a scissors snip to the spinal cord – after they had been born.
And the legislative plan came together just as an investigation is under way into Texas’ own version of Kermit Gosnell, a Houston abortionist who witnesses say killed infants by twisting their heads with his bare hands.
It was Dewhurst who called the pro-abortion forces an “unruly mob.” Those who opposed the pro-life legislation were shouting, chanting and effectively controlling the Senate chamber for a time.
He said his required signature on the bill adopted by a 19-10 vote was not in time.
“It’s over. It’s been fun. But see you soon,” he said, hinting at a special session.
Republicans had forced a vote to end the filibuster after Sen. Wendy Davis reportedly failed to follow the rules of the Senate that would have allowed her to continue.
Davis, a Democrat, launched the marathon effort earlier Tuesday as state Rep. Debbie Riddle, a Republican, spoke to WND in support of the proposal.
“We do not have a war on women. We have a war on babies. If there is construction near a waterfront area, and sea turtle eggs are discovered, all the construction has to stop, because it is against the law to disturb or harm baby sea turtles. It is against the law to disturb or harm eggs of eagles. But it is legal to destroy a human being in the uterus. We need to protect sea turtles and protect eagles, but humans should be our highest priority,” she said.
“Stopping abortion at 20 weeks [and the plan would do] is only humane. I find it odd that there are those who are not concerned with ending a human life in a humane way, but they are terribly concerned about lizards,” she said. “This legislation will help to chill the instances of abuse by the likes of Kermit Gosnell or Douglas Karpen in Houston.”
State Sen. Dan Patrick, a Republican whose efforts against the abortion lobby in Texas have been frequent and potent, was determined the legislation would pass.
“I’m very frustrated that as the majority party we are in a box where the Democrats are in a position on the last day to filibuster and kill our prolife bill. We are in control and we have allowed the clock to wind down to the last day, actually about only 12 hours,” he said.
“Gov. Perry needs to call us back immediately to pass this bill. We need to pass it early where a filibuster cannot kill it,” Patrick said.
Patrick challenged the assertions of Democrats in Texas and elsewhere that restricting abortion in some cases amounted to a “war on women.”
“I’m always amazed when there is opposition to improving quality of health care for women. The idea that this is a ‘war on women,’ is absurd,” Patrick stated. “While I may disagree with the decision of a woman to get an abortion, I value every woman’s life, and no one should want her to go get an abortion at a facility that could put her life in danger.
“The idea that we would allow an abortion clinic to be below the standard of an outpatient care center is just unfathomable. The pro-abortion crowd, what they are really saying, is ‘we want lower standards in abortion clinics than we would want in any other health care facility.’ It makes no sense,” contended Patrick.
Patrick authored the Sonogram Law on which WND reported.
“Many years before I became a senator I visited a crisis pregnancy center and discovered the incredible impact sonograms had on women. … I saw how thankful the women were that they had a chance to see their baby before making a decision that could never be reversed,” Patrick said.
The Sonogram Law requires sonograms to be shown to prospective customers of abortion clinics 24 hours before performing an abortion.
As Patrick noted: “Texas has nearly 80,000 abortions a year. If only 1 in 5 women, after seeing a sonogram, change their mind and decide to have their baby, our legislation will save more than 15,000 innocent lives each year.”
Dave Welch, president of the U.S. Pastor Council, said, “Those who oppose SB 5 are not really pro-choice, but are actually pro-abortion.”
He is leading a campaign now against the Houston abortion practitioner, Karpen, whom many are already calling “the Gosnell of Houston.”
In a press release, Welch said, “We have confirmed and are very pleased that District Attorney Mike Anderson’s office as well as the homicide division of the Houston Police Department are engaged in active and thorough investigations of these alleged crimes.”
WND has corroborated Welch’s statement. Harris County and the Houston Police Department are both conducting independent investigations.
Karpen practices in the largest abortion clinic within the Unites States, based in Houston.
Welch also described video testimony and reports from former employees that are part of the current investigation.
“I have reviewed the video testimony of these women as well as talked to a number of credible leaders who have long histories of tracking Douglas Karpen. As any of these very specific allegations provided by these witnesses are confirmed through the investigations with solid evidence, just closing the clinic is not adequate. Karpen should face the same civil consequences that we in the state of Texas provide to those who maliciously take the lives of multiple innocent victims,” said Welch.
Welch told WND Karpen’s actions are “horrific.”
He explained that employees at Karpen’s business had been asking for immunity before talking with authorities, but that was resolved.
The Houston Police Department is interviewing former staff as well as the three women featured in the videos produced by Life Dynamics.
For Welch, the issue is one of life and death.
“Karpen is in the business of dealing death, so nothing should surprise us. What he’s been doing is going to be exposed as barbaric, horrific and criminal. He represents, as Gosnell did, the true face of what this industry really is about,” Welch told WND.
“There’s no good news in that, other than this will continue to put pressure on the legislature.”
Welch sees SB 5 and other recent legislative attempts to regulate abortion in Texas as “steps.”
“This certainly moves Texas closer to the bar of protecting innocent, unborn life. It is not as far yet as we can go, but each step protects more innocent life. Life begins at conception. We determine cause of death by the absence of a heartbeat. Hopefully we will one day judge life by the presence of a heartbeat. SB 5 is one more step.”
As a state senator in Illinois, Barack Obama stated on record his view that killing infants born alive, in the fashion Karpen and Gosnell adopted, should be legal. Obama voted multiple times against legislation in his state that would prohibit the practice.
“Whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the Equal Protection Clause or the other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a – a child, a 9-month-old – child that was delivered to term. That determination then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it – it would essentially bar abortions, because the Equal Protection Clause does not allow somebody to kill a child.”
There are over 1 million abortions in the U.S. each year, 50 million or more in the last 30 years. Most abortions take place at 20 weeks gestation, which is also when fetuses can feel pain, according to medical science.
The Life Dynamics video featured Deborah Edge, Krystal Rodriguez and Gigi Aguilar talking about their former jobs.
WND reported recently when a related issue arose in Florida:
A lobbyist for Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion business in the United States, said a doctor and a mother should be allowed to decide to kill a newborn who survives an abortion.
The Planned Parenthood comments came at a recent Florida legislative hearing from Alisa LaPoit Snow, who was opposing a proposal that would require a doctor to provide care to an infant whom an abortion failed to kill.
Lawmakers were stunned, asking the same question over and over.
"So, it is just really hard for me to even ask you this question because I'm almost in disbelief," said state Rep. Jim Boyd. "If a baby is born on a table as a result of a botched abortion, what would Planned Parenthood want to have happen to that child that is struggling for life?"
"We believe that any decision that's made should be left up to the woman, her family, and the physician."
In the Florida hearing, the same, or very similar, questions followed several times, as if the lawmakers could not believe the position advocated by Snow.
"You stated that a baby born alive on a table as a result of a botched abortion, that that decision should be left to the doctor and the family. Is that what you're saying?" asked Rep. Jose Oliva.
Snow didn't change her response.
"That decision should be between the patient and the health care provider," she said.
When one lawmaker suggested at that point the "patient" also would include the newborn, Snow responded: "That's a very good question. … I would be glad to have some more conversations with you about this."