Texas senator filibusters against abortion bill

By By WILL WEISSERT and JIM VERTUNO

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Democratic state senator has begun a filibuster to block passage of a proposal that would effectively close most abortion clinics in the state.

Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth began the filibuster at 11:18 a.m. CDT Tuesday. To derail a vote in the GOP-dominated Senate, she must keep speaking on the bill until midnight — the deadline for the end of the 30-day special session.

Rules stipulate she remain standing, not lean on her desk or take any breaks — even for meals or to use the bathroom.

Combined, the package of measures — including a ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy — would represent wide-ranging, stringent abortion limits in the second-largest state.

In her opening remarks, Davis called efforts to pass the bill a "raw abuse of power."

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