Abortion bill rallies draw thousands to the Capitol


by HEATHER KOVAR / KVUE News and Photojournalists J.P. HARRINGTON

Bio | Email | Follow: @HeatherK_KVUE


Posted on July 8, 2013 at 10:16 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 9 at 7:41 AM

AUSTIN -- Two big rallies were held at the Capitol on Monday with thousands of people on both sides of the abortion issue.

They were planned to coincide with a Senate Committee meeting where testimony was expected to continue until midnight. Nearly 500 people signed up to speak.

Both sides are very passionate about their beliefs concerning the Texas abortion bill. The anti-abortion protesters' rally started at 7 p.m. Monday. Then an abortion rights march left from the Capitol steps at 8. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst said to thousands of anti-abortion protesters, "We are going to pass this bill."

Attorney General Greg Abbott said, "God and life will win that debate every time." Some national anti-abortion leaders were on hand such as former Governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee.

As that rally continued, abortion rights advocates stepped off from the steps of the Capitol. Thousands marched through the streets of downtown and back. Among the chants they yelled, "When women's rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up like that!"

Kristian Caballero organized Stand and March with Texas Women. Caballero.

"I noticed that there was a lot of spirit and solidarity and opposition to this bill. People wanted to contribute somehow and didn't know how," she said. "It's an incredible issue of how much it infringes on peoples' rights in general."

The bill would restrict any abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Both sides say it would likely cause most abortion clinics in Texas to close.