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Rick Santorum to join abortion battle in Texas

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jul 09 2013 12:18:13 PM CDT
Rick Santorum 2

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Rick Santorum

AUSTIN, Texas -

Former Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum is getting involved in the abortion debate in Texas.

Santorum is heading to the state Thursday to put his support behind a controversial bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The measure was sidetracked by a filibuster two weeks ago by Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis that grabbed national headlines.

Santorum will hold a news conference Thursday morning at the Texas Capitol in Austin, according to a news release from Patriot Voices, his grassroots conservative non-profit organization.

The former senator from Pennsylvania has made abortion an important issue in his political career.

While in the Senate, he was a leader in the efforts to pass anti-abortion legislation, including the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act.

"Rick is going to Austin this week to join those in giving a voice to the unborn," Republican strategist and senior Santorum adviser John Branbender told CNN.

The push in Texas comes after other states have passed such bans in recent years, including Nebraska, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Indiana and Alabama.

Arkansas has a ban in place for pregnancies beyond 18 weeks, and North Dakota has the tightest restriction in the country at six weeks, when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Santorum, who battled eventual GOP 2012 presidential nominee Mitt Romney deep into last year's Republican primary season, is considering a 2016 bid for the White House.