POSTED: Monday, July 8, 2013 - 2:33pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 10:33am
East Texans participate in rallies
Texas (KETK) — Up to thirteen hours of testimony are expected in Monday's Health and Human Services Committee hearing on the Texas abortion legislation.
Grassroots of America spokesperson, Joann Fleming, described the atmosphere of the capitol as she waited for her turn to deliver testimony.
"It's very crowded. There are a lot of people here," Fleming said. "Everyone is limited to two minutes on the floor, but we have enough people delivering testimony to last as long as thirteen hours."
The Texas Tribune reports  that there are as many as 2,000 witnesses.
"I suspect that we will probably see an attempt of a replay of some of the behavior that we saw on the last day of the first special session," Fleming said. "That's when House Bill 2 will go up for a vote, so I expect the gallery will be full."
She says that Department of Public Safety officials are out in "full force" to ensure that everything runs smoothly.
"I hope that they're going to see that there's a conversation going on and that it's not just one side as we saw a couple weeks ago when they were sort of shouting things down and supporting a filibuster," said Representative Matt Shaefer. "They're going to see democracy in action. They're going to see both sides saying their peace, regular business in House and Senate in Austin."
Overall, Fleming says she believes this second special session has been handled better than the first.
"We wouldn't even be in another special session if Governor Perry hadn't waited so long to call the abortion bill up for a vote," Fleming said. "The session was already half over before it was called. The Senate vote and the filibuster could have been handled better as well. It could have been handled so that Lt. Gov. Dewhurst could have heard the vote. But we are past that now, and we are moving forward."
Among those giving testimony on Monday are several East Texans.
"I am pleased to see so many young people here today," Fleming explained. "Especially so many articulate young people, both men and women, in support of life and improved healthcare faciltiies for women. I am really proud of them and in fact several of them are from Tyler. "
After Monday's testimony, there is a pro-life rally scheduled for 7:00pm.