Abortion bills in state legislatures gaining national attention

July 7, 2013

Efforts by conservatives to restrict abortion in several state legislatures are receiving national attention, as Republicans work to pass national versions.

In Texas, state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) found herself in the national spotlight after filibustering a proposal that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The legislation would also have toughened requirements for locations offering abortions and required that doctors who perform abortions have admission privileges at a hospital close to their clinics.

Davis’s effort caused Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to call a second special session to try and pass the bill through the Republican-controlled legislature.

Davis received wide praise from the left for the filibuster. Democratic senators and national organizations like the Democratic Governors Association sent out fundraising emails citing Davis. Talk of Davis running for something other than reelection — and perhaps challenging Perry, despite dim poll numbers — began. Davis, after previously saying she would not challenge Perry, said she was giving a gubernatorial run a second look

Davis has received the most attention of any state effort to restrict abortion. While Democrats praised Davis, prominent conservatives criticized the filibuster. Former Sen. Rick Santorum’s (R-Pa.) political action committee sent out an email to supporters touting his support for the abortion bill. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), blasted Davis’s filibuster as an attempt “to protect the ability to take more lives.”

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