By JIM VERTUNO and CHRIS TOMLINSON
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - As hundreds of jeering and cheering protesters raised the noise to deafening levels in the Texas Senate chamber, Republicans scrambled to gather their colleagues at the podium for a stroke-of-midnight vote on some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the country.
Sen. Donna Campbell shouted to a security guard, pointing to the thundering crowd in the gallery overhead that had already been screaming for more than 10 minutes.
Campbell pleaded with the guard to help remove the crowd.
It didn't work. The noise never stopped, and despite barely beating the midnight end-of-session deadline with a vote to pass the bill, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said the chaos in the chamber prevented him from formally signing it before the deadline passed, effectively killing it.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.