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Rick Santorum weighs in on Texas abortion debate

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TWC News: Rick Santorum weighs in on Texas abortion debate
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As Texas lawmakers move closer to passing controversial abortion restrictions in the second special session, the Lone Star State is getting national attention.

Rick Santorum, a former candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, stopped in Austin Thursday to throw his voice behind the legislation.

"I'm here because Texas is the center of the pro-life debate in the country right now," Santorum said. "They are stepping out and they are doing things that aren't politically popular—standing up for the unborn child."

Santorum criticized Senate Democrats who were successful in their filibuster last month, saying those who are against the bill are the real radicals.

"The person who blocked it is lionized by the media, roundly supported by the president and everyone in their party for taking an extreme view by any stretch of the imagination."

The debate has no doubt divided lawmakers in recent weeks.

"I know that there are both extremes that would like to see us be divided, but I believe Texans can be united around this debate," Republican Sen. Jane Nelson.

But as the bill inches closer to getting Governor Perry's final signature, many Democrats see this as a national push for a Republican Primary—one that will ultimately end up before the courts.

"I don't blame the Republican Party. They have the votes and this is what they wanted to do and it's a national agenda,” Democratic Sen. Royce West said. “That's why you're seeing some of these bills in many states. You're also seeing a lot of these bills being held unconstitutional so you can be assured that we'll fight this particular bill also."

The Senate Health and Human Services committee passed the bill forward Thursday on a party-line vote. It will be heard on the Senate floor Friday.

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