Abortion-Rights Rally Draws Big Fort Worth Crowd

More than 1,400 activists attend demonstration

Rallies organized to condemn a restrictive abortion measure were held in Fort Worth and downtown Dallas on Wednesday.

On Wednesday evening, Planned Parenthood took its Stand With Texas Women campaign to Fort Worth, the hometown of Sen. Wendy Davis.

"The reason we're here is simple," she said. "Our partisan leadership in charge does not respect the rights of all Texans to make critical decisions about themselves and their bodies."

Davis earlier led a Democratic filibuster that put the House version of the bill in the national spotlight.

"But finally and ultimately, it was the people's filibuster that killed that terrible piece of legislation," she said.

Davis urged the crowd to remember and be angry about budget cuts to health care, education and other programs for women and children.

More than 1,400 activists attended the rally, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It was the bus tour's second-largest crowd, the newspaper reported.

The rally was held just hours before a committee was expected to send Senate Bill 1 to the floor for a vote.

An earlier rally in City Hall plaza in Dallas drew a crowd of more than 200 orange-clad protesters carrying signs such as, "Don't Mess with Texas Women."

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, was among the speakers Wednesday in Dallas.

More than 1,100 supporters attended a similar rally the day before in downtown Houston. The tour began in Austin on Tuesday.

Anti-abortion advocates will hold a rally at 10 a.m. Thursday outside the Capitol.

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum will headline the rally, along with Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.

The Dallas rally was held as Texas House Republicans pushed through the bill. It now goes to the Republican-controlled Senate for consideration.

NBC 5's Omar Villafranca contributed to this report.

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