The Texas state Senate passed House Bill 2 late Friday night, ensuring the closure of most of the state's reproductive health clinics for women, as opponents vowed to capitalize on weeks of momentum generated by demonstrations against the measure.
"The fight for the future of Texas is just beginning," said Sen. Wendy Davis (D), who became a focal point of opposition to the bill following her 13-hour filibuster on June 25, which delayed the bill's passage and touched off a series of demonstrations both at the state Capitol and on social media.
"There are people in charge here who want this bill to move very quickly so they won't be delayed in their climb up the political ladder," Davis said, a veiled reference to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R), who previously referred to demonstrators as an "unruly mob."
The bill, preceded by an additional prayer mandated by Dewhurst, passed by a partisan margin of 19 to 11 and followed one last day of demonstrations, which Republican lawmakers attempted to counter by banning female hygiene products from the building.
Update: The Texas Tribune is live-streaming a demonstration in the rotunda outside the Senate chamber, which can be seen below.
[ustream http://www.ustream.tv/embed/5959816?v=3&wmode=direct expand=1]
[Image via Texas Tribune on YouTube]