Texas Democrats are currently trying to kill a venomous omnibus anti-abortion bill that would basically end access to safe and legal abortion across the state by holding an intended 13-hour filibuster to stop the legislation from moving to Governor Rick Perry's desk — a crucial endeavor, since Perry seems to think all his constituents are nonviable fetuses. It must be voted on by midnight to pass.
Awesomely feisty Senator Wendy Davis began the filibuster that will hopefully derail the vote at 11:18 a.m. CDT Tuesday. She sent us a statement outlining her plan for the day (which won't involve eating, drinking, sitting, or peeing):
Today I am going to talk about the path these leaders have chosen and about the dark place it will take us. I will try to explain the history of the failed legislation before us, the impact of that legislation and, most importantly, what history tells us about these policies and the motivations behind them. They do real damage to our state and to the families whose rights are violated and whose personal relationship with their doctor and their creator are being violated.
Davis has been sharing some harrowing stories illustrating the importance of access to reproductive health, but she has an incredible story of her own: she was once a single teenage mother working two jobs, but eventually became the first person in her family to earn a bachelor's degree, not to mention graduate with Honors from Harvard Law and get elected to the Texas Senate in 2008. She's staged a successful filibuster before; we're confident she can do it again.
A brief reminder of how overwhelmingly shitty this bill is: it would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, mandate that clinics complete unnecessary upgrades, require doctors to gain admitting privileges at hospitals, and place new restrictions on medication abortion. Abortion advocates say it would close all but five clinics in the state.
Follow hashtag #SB5 for updates or watch above. Also feel free to stick needles in your Rick Perry voodoo doll.