And to follow the motto of today as one of her supporters, Go Wendy! Or on Twitter, #StandWithWendy
Proving that not all politicians from Texas live in some other dimension where insanity trumps reality, Wendy Davis decided to take a stand today (literally—she will have to stand for 13 hours to be successful) to fight for women’s rights in Texas.
Wearing pink tennis shoes in preparation for what’s expected to be a very long day for the Texas Senator, Wendy Davis took the floor at 11:18 a.m. CDT today and plans to speak continuously for 13 hours. She’s doing this to filibuster an anti-abortion bill that would shut down most every clinic in Texas that provides abortions, and also wouldn’t allow any exemptions for rape or incest after 20 weeks.
It’s estimated that if this bill passed, only 5 clinics in Texas will remain that would be allowed to provide abortions. In the second largest state in the country, that means some women in more rural areas would have to travel hundreds of miles just to have the procedure.
The moment she stood up to begin the filibuster, her chair was removed by colleagues wanting to avoid an instance where she might accidentally sit down. Rules state she can not sit down, lean against anything, take a break (even to eat or use the restroom) and must talk continuously, on topic, the entire time.
Yesterday, Senator Davis provided a strong statement on Twitter displaying her determination to see this bill blocked:
The leadership may not want to listen to TX women, but they will have to listen to me. I intend to filibuster this bill.
Senator Davis has spent much of her time during the filibuster reading statements from Texas women and doctors who weren’t allowed to testify by the chairman of the Republican-controlled committee.
In one of my favorite parts of the day (so far), after a comment was made by one of the bills Republican supporters who stated “this is about women’s health,” Davis then questioned why vasectomies and colonoscopies aren’t also required to take place in clinics with such stringent rules that this bill would require abortion clinics to follow.
Davis continued, “Because I’ve been unable to have a simple question answered to help me understand how this would lead to better care for women, I must question the underlying motive for doing so.”
And she’s absolutely right. This is clearly an attempt by Texas Republicans to use loopholes they’ve identified to try and ban abortions in the state. Mississippi did something similar when state legislators unsuccessfully tried to pass a “personhood bill,” defining life at conception—which would have made any abortion murder.
Now I’ve heard some Republicans come out and say that liberals mocked Rand Paul when he did his filibuster a couple of months ago, and they’re right—we did. They claim commending Davis on her filibuster makes us hypocrites.
Except there’s a huge difference.
Paul’s filibuster was ultimately pointless. He was “seeking an answer” from the president about the use of drones on American soil—an answer that was already clearly defined in our Constitution. His filibuster was nothing more than a stunt to build support heading into CPAC, where he just happened to win the straw poll for a possible presidential run. Oh, and also raised a lot of money for himself and his probable 2016 candidacy.
Some asked why Davis was chosen for this filibuster. Being a woman from Fort Worth who herself had a child as a teenager, yet still managed to graduate from Harvard Law, many felt this gave her a strong background to be the face of this filibuster.
Personally, this wonderful woman has won me over. She’s gained a growing reputation in Texas of taking on Republican leaders in the state on key issues such as women’s rights and education. She’s exactly the voice Texas Democrats need if we’re ever going to reclaim sanity from Republicans in this state.
This is exactly the type of voice I’ve said Democrats in Texas must have to take this state back. Strong, confident, passionate—Wendy Davis, Texas Senator from Fort Worth, one hell of a Texas bad ass.
My only hope now, beyond her continued success during this filibuster, is that she has bigger plans for her political career…
“Texas Governor Wendy Davis” sounds damn good to me.