POSTED: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 8:04am
Paul Steinhauser CNN Political Editor — Rick Santorum's heading to Texas to put his support behind a controversial bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
According to a press release obtained by CNN that will be sent later Tuesday, Santorum will hold a news conference Thursday morning at the Texas state capitol in Austin.
Abortion has long been an important issue for the former senator from Pennsylvania and 2012 Republican presidential candidate.
While in the Senate, Santorum 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.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry called state lawmakers into a special session to try to once again pass 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.
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.
The press release regarding Santorum's event comes from Patriot Voices, his grassroots conservative non-profit organization.
According to Patriot Voices, the group recently launched a petition "that has garnered thousands of signatures asking Americans to stand with life."
The press release also states that Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, as well as state anti-abortion leaders, will join Santorum at his event in Austin.
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.
Politico was first to report Santorum's event in Texas.