AUSTIN, Texas —
Perry has now called a second 30-day special session to start Monday. Given a new start and large majorities in the House and Senate, Republicans are all but assured of passing the bill.
But opponents and Democrats have turned the incident into a rallying call, and Davis' filibuster turned her into a galvanizing figure in the national debate over abortion rights.
The activists who crowded the Senate gallery had maintained decorum for most of the day. They didn't erupt until Democrats complained Dewhurst tried to unilaterally move to end Davis' filibuster without a full Senate vote — a vote Republicans would have won and still given them time to pass the abortion bill.
Sen. Dan Patrick, whom Dewhurst appointed to chair the Senate's powerful education committee, announced Thursday he would run against Dewhurst in 2014. He said the chamber needs new leadership.
"We elevated a rallying point for the other party," Patrick said. "It should never have happened."