Texas State Senator Wendy Davis made a bold move last night in opposition to the proposed abortion bill that would widely limit the availability of procedures in the state: She orchestrated a whopping 11-hour filibuster debate to prevent the bill from passing and, eventually, succeeded at 3:01 A.M. After bringing up previous Texas legislation requiring women to have ultrasounds before going through with an abortion, Lieutenant Gov. David Dewhurst actually moved to end Davis' fillibuster on the grounds that the ultrasound laws were not germane, but eventually, the time limit expired and the bill was not passed. (An editor at Refinery29 pointed out that the legal wrangling was particularly rough, with the hearing going past midnight, which is against the rules that Republicans so strictly enforced on Davis. Secondly, The Moderate Voice reports that the timestamp was changed to reflect a before midnight vote.)
The night's confusing and dramatic events were aided and abbetted by a crowd of vociferous on-lookers, who appeared to be unanimous supporters of Davis' efforts to prevent the bill from passing. Indeed, Dewhurst later said that “an unruly mob, using Occupy Wall Street tactics, disrupted the Senate from protecting unborn babies.” You can see a bit of what he meant in the video below, taken just after he ruled to end the fillibuster (and you can imagine what it sounded like when things took a turn in the crowd's interests). Another hero of the night? Leticia Van De Putte missed the beginning of the day for her father's funeral and then took it to the Senate by asking at what point do women need to yell to be heard over their male colleagues. A poignant question, indeed.
Salon.com (where you can also find a detailed rendering of the night's events) is already calling Davis a feminist superhero, and given her inspiring story and history of going rogue to stand up for her beliefs, we kind of agree. Superhero, champion of women's rights, rouser of noisy crowds — honestly, we think it can all be summed up with the word "badass."
Video: Via YouTube; Photo: Via Salon.com.