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Sen. Wendy Davis Leads Pro-Choice Rally In San Antonio

The controversial abortion restriction bill will likely pass the Texas Senate in Austin today, but yesterday in downtown San Antonio, a rally with Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, demonstrated that there is plenty of opposition to that bill.

The rally was called Stand With Texas Women, and along with Mayor Julián Castro were four Texas Senators all beating the drum in opposition to the abortion bills.

But the person that the crowd came to see was Davis.

"Let’s give a big San Antonio welcome to State Senator Wendy Davis for her heroic work in the Texas legislature," said Castro to the crowd. "A couple of weeks ago, like many of ya'll, I was up at 2:30 in the morning on the internet watching that fantastic filibuster and everything that transpired. I watched the leadership of the Senate at 12:03 and then try to move it back to 11:59." 

Outside the rally -- also braving the 100 degree heat -- were pro-life supporters who were chanting their own slogans, jubilant that their bills where on track to passage.

"My name is Matt Schima, director of the San Antonio Coalition for Life, we are here peacefully and prayerfully. We are not here to engage and to dialog but to be a peaceful witness to the truth of life. And so let us pray."

The bill will be one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the nation, outlawing the termination of a pregnancy after 20 weeks. It also requires abortion providers to upgrade their facilities to ambulatory status and the attending doctor must has admitting privileges at the hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

Opponents to the bill say that will shut down all clinics west of  IH-35 and along the Texas-Mexico border.

"Here we are in San Antonio, and what better representation of not give up the fight even if you know that things might be lost in that moment. The Alamo, of course, and the brave Texans who fought there is an incredible example of that. That’s what we are going to see on the Senate floor, the Senate gallery and the halls of the capitol and I don’t think it’s going to go away when the gavel hits the pedestal." 

San Antonio was just one stop for the Davis and the other Democratic Senators who have crossed Texas looking to turn opposition against the bills into political activism and votes for the Democratic Party in future elections.

With several important seats coming up for election in 2014, including the governor's office, attorney general and Cornyn's U.S. Senate seat, Democrats are looking to make inroads in the Republican stronghold.

David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi