(Reuters) - When the Texas Legislature convenes on Monday for a second special session, the Republican majority will seek to do what it couldn't pull off in the first, when Democrat Wendy Davis stalled the measure for hours: Pass sweeping abortion restrictions.
Opponents who crowded the State Capitol last week are vowing to continue their fight, but supporters of the proposal that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy have more time to pass it than they did in the first special session, when lawmakers focused initially on a redistricting issue.
This time, anti-abortion lawmakers won't put themselves in a position in which time is about to run out, said Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, which advocates for anti-abortion policies and other conservative causes.
"It seems as close to a sure thing as you can get," Saenz said of the bill's passage. But he added: "As we saw during the first special session, until it's completely done and the process is finished, there are no guarantees. That's going to motivate both sides to do everything they can to ensure victory."
Davis, who gained national attention after she filibustered for more than 10 hours to block the measure, said Sunday that she and other opponents are prepared to fight the bill again.
"I just refuse to say I believe it will happen," she said on ABC's "This Week" on Sunday. "I'm an eternal optimist. I believe in people; I believe in the power of democracy. And I'm going to fight with every fiber I have to keep it from passing."
Republicans managed to stop Davis' filibuster last Tuesday night and voted 19 to 10 to pass the bill. But hundreds of bill opponents screamed from the gallery as senators were voting, a disruption that helped keep Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst from being able to sign the bill and send it to the governor in time.