FORT WORTH — Despite temperatures in the 90s and the setting sun heating up the crowd, almost 1,500 pro-choice supporters rallied at the Stand With Texas Women bus tour in Fort Worth Wednesday night.
The abortion bill they oppose faces a final vote in less than 48 hours. But the woman at the center of the opposition, State Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), said at least as far as the legislation goes, the fight is over.
"I think it is," Davis conceded to WFAA. "I do believe it will immediately be followed by legal action to [prevent] the enforcement of the law."
"Ten years ago, I was in Albuquerque... but that's a different story," Sen. Royce West told the crowd from the podium.
Democrats could break quorum this week and leave the state to prevent a vote on the bill.
That's what they did in 2003, fleeing to an Albuquerque hotel to avoid a vote on redistricting and again in 1979 over a change in the presidential primary date.
But Davis told WFAA that maneuver is not under consideration this time.
"There's been a lot of rule-breaking going on at the Capitol right now," Sen. Davis said. "We could break that rule. We could break quorum. But unfortunately, we'll just see another day. I have no doubt the governor is hell-bent to pass this bill."
"I just saw [Lt. Gov. David] Dewhurst at this event I was at tonight, and he said he thinks [the abortion legislation] will pass late Friday night or early Saturday morning," said Republican strategist Matt Mackowiak.
The eight-city Stand With Texas Women bus tour proves Democrats have given up on the legislative battle, Mackowiak said.
"Now this is a matter of seeing what else they can yield from it," he added. "From a fundraising standpoint, for a voter registration standpoint, from a grass-roots standpoint."
Davis and Democrats say they still plan a big fight on Friday. But at the end of the day, Republicans still have the votes to pass the bill into law.
The Senate's Health and Human Services Committee will consider the bill on Thursday. After expected passage there, it will head to the Senate floor for debate and a full vote as early as Friday.
Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas said it will file an injunction to keep the bill from being enforced.