In Texas Senate, heroine Wendy Davis and Democrats win in the end

Wendy Davis in 2010

The Texas legislature was the star of social media last night, as the Democratic minority mounted a filibuster against a tough anti-abortion law that would have caused more than half of Texas’ abortion clinics to close. And after more twists and turns than a Bond film, the bill died last night as the special session ended.

Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis began the filibuster around 11 a.m., but was challenged by Republicans under Texas’ three-strikes filibuster rules, once for receiving help from another Democrat in putting on a back brace and twice for going off-topic, including one time when she began talking about a 2011 law about sonograms, which Republicans decided was “not germane” to the filibuster.

But when Davis’ filibuster was ended after 11 p.m., Democrats began asking procedural questions to stall the vote.

Then Sen. Letitia Van de Putte, a Democrat frustrated by being passed over with an objection, asked the Senate’s presiding officer, Republican Sen. Robert Duncan, “Mr. President, at what point does a female senator have to raise her
voice or her hand to be heard over her male colleagues in the room?”

At Van de Putte’s question, the public gallery in the Senate began cheering loudly, and did not stop for more than 15 minutes, forcing the Senate to stop until after midnight. While Republicans attempted to complete the vote, the state’s lieutenant governor eventually acknowledged the vote was invalid.

See the story at The Nation.

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