Texas lawmakers showed up to the Capitol dressed in blue and in orange on Tuesday as debate began on the House floor over a bill that would effectively ban abortions in the Lone Star State. The color scheme dress code matches that of activists on both sides of the abortion debate who arrived in Austin to continue rallying cries for and against the bill.
Anti-abortion advocates clad in blue and carrying baby shoes met on the steps of the Capitol building just the day before, where pro-abortion rights activists had rallied a week earlier to protest the start of the Texas legislature's special session. Among Monday's speakers at the anti-abortion rally were Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.
"Tonight, it's not so much that the eyes of Texas are upon you. It's that the eyes of America are on Texas," Huckabee told the crowd.
About 100 yards away, abortion rights advocates met in orange to hold a rally in protest of the bill. "I feel I still have a right to stand up for what I believe in," Austin resident Melissa Scott told local radio station KERA. "I’m pro-choice. I don’t think anyone should tell me how to live my life or anyone else."
Inside the Capitol, thousands registered a position over the bill as a Senate committee met to hear public testimony. Nearly 500 citizens spoke for two minutes each until approximately 1:45 a.m. CDT.
A vote is expected Tuesday in the House over the bill. The Senate will meet Wednesday.