Texas Democrats are eyeing a 'run for the border,' possibly leaving the state to deny majority Republicans the quorum needed to approve those controversial abortion restrictions, 1200 WOAI news reports.
Two key Democratic lawmakers confirm to 1200 WOAI news that when the vote comes up in the full House and Senate, probably later this week, Democrats are considering leaving the state. That would deny the Republicans the quorum which is required for them to approve Legislation. Democrats tried this twice before, in an attempt to defeat pro Republican redistricting bills in 2003 and again in 2005.
The State Senate Health and Human Services Committee will hold a hearing today on the bill, and people on both sides of the issue began lining up before 3AM in hopes to participating in rallies which are planned by supporters and opponents of the issue in front of the Capitol today.
Pro choice groups even held what they called 'non violence civil disobedience training' over the weekend.
"It is a little scary to think that safe and legal abortion could nearly be banned in Texas," one pro choice activist said.
Former Arkansas Governor and pro life activist Mike Huckabee, as well as Christian reality TV stars Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar will join a Republican demonstration tonight to show support for the bill, which would severely restrict the operation of abortion clinics. It would also limit abortion to 20 weeks gestation on the grounds that after that point, the fetus can feel pain in the womb.
Unlike 2003, when the House was 76 Republican and 74 Democratic, there are only 55 Democrats in the Texas House today, which means virtually all of them would have to participate in a 'quorum busting' move in order to deny Republicans a vote on the issue.
Republicans in the Legislature point out that with the transportation bill also up for discussion, it would be difficult for Democrats to justify abandoning the Capitol.
A 'quorum busting' run for the border would be tough in the Senate, because State Sen. Eddie Lucio (D-Browsnville), a devout Catholic who supports the abortion restrictions, would not be likely to participate.
Republican Legislative leaders say governors of states bordering Texas have been notified. The only border state where the governor is a Democrat and who would be likely to support any 'quorum busting' is New Mexico.