Texas Democrats managed to block an abortion bill that would shut most of the abortion clinics in the state all thanks to the magic of filibustering.
Democratic Senator Wendy Davis spoke for over 10 hours in attempt to delay the abortion bill that would ban the procedure after 20 weeks of pregnancy and require all abortions take place in surgical centres.
Davis was chosen to lead the filibuster because she was once a teen mom who went on to graduate from Harvard Law School. Speaking about Planned Parenthood, Senator Davis said, “I was a poor, uninsured woman, whose only care was provided through that facility. It was my medical home.”
Filibustering is not an easy task. The rules include:
- No sitting
- No bathroom breaks
- No talking about anything unrelated to the bill
Decked out in pink running shoes and a supportive backbrace, Davis needed to talk for 13 hours in order to stop the bill before it could be voted on by the end of the legislative session.
“The leadership may not want to listen to Texas women, but they will have to listen to me. I intend to filibuster this bill.”
Unfortunately, just before midnight, Davis’s filibuster came to an end after Republicans accused her of violating one of the strict parliamentary rules: going off topic.
Abortion rights activists in the upstairs gallery did not like this. Fearing the abortion bill would pass before the midnight deadline, they erupted in outcry, managing to disrupt the Republican senators and further delay the vote.
“Get them out!” Republican Senator Donna Campbell shouted to a security guard. “Time is running out!”
The Republican dominated Senate soon announced they had somehow managed to successfully pass the bill in the nick of time, but in a final twist it was later discovered that the Republicans’ final vote was taken too late to count, rendering the vote invalid.
Republicans blamed the Democratic victory on “all the ruckus and noise” and “an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics”. Republican Governor Rick Perry was especially upset – he was itching to sign the bill into law and make abortion a “thing of the past”.
Via: The New York Times