This week, something remarkable happened in Texas. It was overshadowed by the DOMA ruling, however its happening is no less remarkable. Senator Wendy Davis began turning the tide for Texas women through her filibuster of extremely restrictive abortion legislation.
The bill, heavily supported by the Republican senate majority, essentially threatened to close down a majority of abortion clinics in the state. During her one woman filibuster, Senator Davis spoke on the subject for nearly 11 hours before being ruled “off topic,” when she discussed mandatory ultrasound testing.
President Barack Obama even took notice of the Senator’s bold move, tweeting "#StandWithWendy."
Texas Lawmakers had to vote on SB5 before the special session's end at 12 a.m. However, more than 400 protesters interfered with the vote by spontaneously chanting "Shame! Shame!" when Davis' filibuster was halted on technical grounds by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. In the middle of the public protest, reporter Christopher Dido used his cell phone and a live stream to report from inside the senate. He broadcast live as protester chants continued disrupting proceedings until after the midnight deadline for the vote had passed.
Senator Davis’ eleven hour plus filibuster - and the spontaneous public disruption for the last 15 minutes - caused the vote to be completed after midnight, preventing SB5 from become law.
Texas Republicans have lost touch with the reality that women are standing up for their reproductive rights. And even if Senators do manage to pass this ultra-restrictive bill (apparently they have already called for a second special session), they will not be able to silence the voices of Texas women demanding the right to control their own bodies.