The Texas Senate has given its initial approval for sweeping abortion restrictions late on Friday, sending them to Republican Governor Rick Perry to sign into law after weeks of protests and rallies that drew thousands of people to the Capitol and made the state the focus of the national abortion debate.
Republicans used their large majority in the Texas Legislature to pass the Bill nearly three weeks after a filibuster by Democratic Senator Wendy Davis and an outburst by abortion-rights activists in the Senate gallery disrupted a deadline vote on June 25.
As protesters came to the Capitol building in Austin on Friday, bottles of urine and feces, and even tampons were confiscated by state troopers as they tried to prevent anything from disrupting the debate.
Those attending the debate were searched, and any item that could potentially be thrown from the gallery, including tampons, were confiscated, according to the Washington Post.
A senator later stopped security officials confiscating tampons, calling the move ‘bone headed’.
However, Texas Department of Public Safety officers were reported to have found one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected of holding feces and three jars suspected to contain paint.
Four women who tried to chain themselves to a railing in the gallery were also arrested and a ten-minute break had to be called when another woman managed to chain herself to the railing.
The Senate’s leader, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst told officers to remove a group of protesters who started chanting ‘Give choice a chance’ as the debate resumed.