By Cameron Joseph - 07/07/13 01:59 PM EDT
Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Sunday promised his state will push through a law restricting abortion rights, which has gained national attention, within the next 10 days.
"We have a special session with some important issues in front of us. We're going to pass some restrictions on abortion in Texas so that Texas is a place where we defend life. That's the powerful message here, that's what we're focused on," Perry said on “Fox News Sunday.” "We can be in and out of here in another 10 days... we will get this done and get Texas back focused on the economic interests."
An earlier effort to pass the restrictions was stalled after a 13-hour filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), which made her an instant figure and was hailed by Democrats around the country.
But Perry called a second special session of the state legislature to push the bill again. The measure, which critics say would shutter most of the abortion clinics in the state, has strong support in the heavily Republican state legislature and is likely to pass.
Perry also defended remarks he'd made that it was "unfortunate" that Davis, a single mother, "hasn't learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to reach its full potential and that every life matters."
Those comments stirred outrage on the left, and led to criticism from some in his own party, including the Republican speaker of Texas's statehouse.
"Those comments were meant to be a compliment to her for what she's accomplished in her life," Perry said by way of explanation. "My point was that saving a life and letting that life come to its fulfillment and all the good things that happen, you never know who's going to be considered to be an extraordinary individual."
The Texas governor also doubled down on criticism of protesters who flooded the state senate’s balcony during the filibuster to shout their support for Davis and opposition to the bill.
"It was the gallery that was out of control, literally out of control… anyone who watched that would consider it to be mob rule," Perry said. "Rules were followed on the Senate floor. It was the decorum of the Senate chamber that was put in a bad light."
Perry said he expected disruptive protestors would be removed from the building during the second session.