Texas has become the focus of great media and political attention after a controversial “special session” was held on Tuesday to allow lawmakers to vote on an anti-abortion bill.
During the session, Democratic Senator Wendy Davis staged a one-woman filibuster to derail the Republican effort to restrict abortions in the state, taking up the allotted time to prevent anti-abortion legislature from being approved. Davis stood and spoke for nearly twelve hours, without a break to use the restroom, to eat, or even to lean on her podium, while the crowd showed her support in their boisterous and impassioned presence. Davis wore a back brace during the end of the filibuster.
Davis’ filibuster successfully prevented lawmakers from voting on an anti-abortion bill, though her drastic measures to do so became a point of contention between the lawmakers. The bill itself is incredibly aggressive and controversial. It is one of the most forcefully anti-abortion pieces of legislature ever created, and if passed, would force nearly all of the abortion clinics in the entire state of Texas to close, as well as enforcing other anti-abortion stipulations. Wendy Davis has achieved overnight fame as a voice advocating for all women who would be impacted by such a bill, as well as infamy in the eyes of Texas Republicans.
One day after the special session and Davis’ filibuster, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced that he would call lawmakers back into another special session starting on July 1st to try to pass the anti-abortion bill. This news comes as a disappointing setback for pro-choice activists and politicians in Texas, who passionately supported Davis on Tuesday as she spoke on behalf of the health and wellbeing of all women. Governor Perry reportedly said “Texans value life and want to protect women and the unborn,” in a statement about his decision to try once again to pass anti-abortion legislature.
There is no doubt that Senator Davis is one of those Texans who values life, but she and other pro-choice advocates also fear for Texan women who will be adversely affected by anti-abortion legislature that will force hundreds of clinics across the state to close.
Texas will have the attention of the entire country next month as lawmakers come to a decision about anti-abortion legislature.
Photo credit Dallas News