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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

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Texas Senator Wendy Davis's Filibuster

State senator Wendy Davis is filibustering the restrictive abortion bill currently on the floor to vote in Texas. The proposed bill "would ban abortion at 20-weeks gestation, require physicians that perform the procedure to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, require abortions to be performed in ambulatory surgical centers and require doctors administering abortion-inducing drugs to do so in person." She's about three hours in on a 13-hour stretch, and she's spending the time reading testimony from women who have had abortions in the Longhorn State. Senator Davis

must speak continuously — and stay on topic — the entire time. She is not allowed to lean against something for support. And she will not be able to stop or take a break, not even for meals or the restroom, during the entire 13-hour ordeal.


If you're at work, be warned that the testimony will likely get emotional at times. [YouTube. h/t Michelle & Andrea]

224 Comments / Post A Comment

packedsuitcase

I feel like between this and SCOTUS, my stomach is just going to be permanently clenched today.

laurel

Hey Emma, I appreciate the political coverage you and Jia have been bringing to the 'Pin.

testingwithfire

@laurel Agreed. Also, this almost makes me want to sign up for Twitter again so I can retweet & support Sen. Davis. I have no doubt she's under siege right now and will be for some time.

flimflannery

@laurel it's really great! I love it too, you guys.

Mae
Mae

@laurel I agree! Emma and Jia, thank you for covering these issues.

laurel

PS: I used to have a budgie named Phil, short for Filibuster, because he'd never shut up.

j-i-a

@laurel Glad you guys are into it - LONG LIVE #WENDY

hallelujah

As shitty & terrible today has been, at least we have two new patron saints of Bad Ass Motherfuckery: RBG & Sen. Wendy Davis. I'm lighting a candle/taking a shot for each of these righteous ladies tonight.

flimflannery

@hallelujah That is a wonderful idea!

packedsuitcase

@hallelujah Um, not to make light of this, but I totally read that you were going to be "lighting a candle/taking a shit" for them and thought, "Well, I mean, I'm sure she'll want to after 13 hours, sooo...that's thoughtful?" Then I re-read.

annestofannes

@hallelujah actually, RBG has been a patron saint of bad ass motherfuckery for a long long time, check out the new yorker's recent profile on her:

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2013/03/11/130311fa_fact_toobin

wee_ramekin

Emma! Jia!

Thank you SO much for posting this.

@Pinners. It has been CRAZY here in Austin over the last few days. Pro-choice Texans have been turning out in droves to protest the flagrant disregard for the will of the people that has been occurring. We had 1,000+ protesters flooding the Texas Capital the day that the House took up this bill.This clip from the Rachel Maddow show details all the twists and turns this bill has taken, and all the roadblocks pro-choice Texans and Texas Democratic legislators have thrown up to stop it. The clip is about 6 minutes long, but it's a really good summary of what's been going on.

Amy Gentry (who used to comment pretty frenquently on the 'Pin as @oeditirx) was at the House debate and wrote a really moving opinion piece on this issue.

Y'all, take heart. We have an amazing champion in Wendy Davis, who is elegantly filibustering this shit into the ground. Texas House Representatives Jessica Farrar, Dawnna Dukes (that's my rep!), Senfronia Thompson, Sylvester Turner, Gene Wu, Nicole Collier, Alma Allen, Mary Gonzalez, and many others fought tooth and nail to delay passage of the bill in the house long enough to give Senator Davis as short a filibuster time as possible. It was amazing and inspiring to watch.

There's also a sense - at least from what I can tell on Twitter and by living in Austin - that Texas Democrats are really getting energized, with this issue as our flash-point.

wee_ramekin

@wee_ramekin Sorry, y'all: that link to Amy's blog piece doesn't work in my first post. Here it is, functional and just begging to be clicked.

bitzyboozer

@wee_ramekin God, I so want this to be true (about TX Dems getting energized by this). I'm a little wary of the Austin bubble effect though. Make that VERY wary.

laurel

@wee_ramekin Hey, is it true that SB5 sponsor Jodie Laubenberg thinks that rape kits can be used to terminate pregnancy?

adorable-eggplant

@laurel Here's the quote:

"[I]n hospital emergency rooms, we have funded what’s called rape kits that will help the woman, basically clean her out. And then hopefully that will alleviate that.”

She was then interrupted by Democratic Representative Dawnna Dukes, who wanted to hear that part again, please:

Representative Laubenberg, you said these ladies would be able to acquire an abortion at one of the emergency rooms?

And so Laubenberg said it again, only more so:

In the emergency room they have what's called rape kits that the woman, she’ll get cleaned out, basically like a D&C, and emergency contraception, where they can also do the morning-after pill.

(http://maddowblog.msnbc.com/_news/2013/06/24/19117053-video-in-texas-rape-kits-debate-the-sound-of-abortion-politics?lite)

katiemcgillicuddy

@adorable-eggplant Basically like a D&C?! I mean JESUS CHRIST. A spring just popped out of my brain.

laurel

@adorable-eggplant Wha? AFAIK, a rape kit swab is limited to the vagina and doesn't penetrate the cervix.

This is the problem with ignorate people seeking public office. They don't know they're ignorant.

Hollye

@wee_ramekin Actually Wendy is a Fort Worth lady. My home city and a place that goes blue from time to time. Also San Antonio and Houston are both blueish cities. I mean. You know. For Texas. :)

wee_ramekin

@Hollye She totally is a Fort Worth lady -- y'all, that is not Austin hair! (tee hee) Sorry that my comment above didn't make that more explicit; I've been getting less than 4 hours of sleep for the past few days as I stay up to watch this unfold.

wee_ramekin

@laurel Yeah. Just so everyone is aware, this is what a rape kit contains.

A rape kit is a way to recover evidence from a person's body after they have been raped for possible future use in legal prosecution. In some hospitals, a woman may be given the morning-after pill to help prevent a pregnancy that would arise from rape, but that does not happen in all hospitals (Catholic hospitals, anyone?). It's not a standard part of a rape kit.

Hollye

@wee_ramekin Haha Ohmygod you're right- that is absolutely not Austin hair.

flimflannery

@wee_ramekin I know that the morning after pill is administered in some (ok, at least one) Catholic hospital. They just don't talk about it.

adorable-eggplant

@flimflannery And if they don't talk about it, how are women supposed to know it's an option? If I'm uninsured (about 1 in 4 Texans is uninsured, so it's a likely scenario: http://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=5519) then I have to think about whether I can afford the morning after pill at that moment. If I cannot then I have to come back to a clinic (can emergency rooms administer the pill, anyway under the terms of SB5? It seems that they would also need to comply with the regulatory hurdles as well, from my understanding).

adorable-eggplant

@wee_ramekin I wanted to add a shout out for another awesome local politician: Ramey Ko. He's running for representative of district 50 (if y'all want to see what a truly gerrymandered district looks like: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/fyiwebdocs/PDF/house/dist50/m1.pdf).

He's been down at the capital wearing orange from the beginning and he has a solid and sometimes amusing twitter feed: ‏@rameyko

"Seriously, @TXGOP? Blank paper representing testimony? What about the hundreds of real women u shut down last week? #SB5 #StandwithWendy"

"Can someone tell @senatorbobdeuel the definition of #mansplaining as he condescends to @WendyDavisTexas? #SB5 #TXlege #StandwithWendy"

adorable-eggplant

@adorable-eggplant Kirk Watson is also great.

beezelbubbles

@bitzyboozer Rio Grande Valley always goes blue, as well. There are far more Democrats in Texas than just in Austin. And there is no Democrat like an angry Texas Democrat. =D

oeditrix

@wee_ramekin Thanks lady! Hey, are you on Twitter? What's your handle? I've been live-tweeting the events from the Capitol under @unlandedgentry, and will be doing so during the second special session as well.

wee_ramekin

@oeditrix I'm not on Twitter, but the events over the last couple of days are convincing me that maybe I need to be. Even if I never have any followers, at least I can help things trend, ya know?!

If I get on Twitter, I'll send you my handle. I actually have your e-mail address from when we were organizing those first Austin Pin-ups. WHO KNEW that those Pin-ups would lead to........ACTIVISM?!

oeditrix

@wee_ramekin You'll have one follower for sure! :)

smidge

So I was watching the Stanley Cup finals last night and lost my shit in the last minute when the Blackhawks won. I'll probably feel the same way tonight at five minutes to midnight Texas time. Anyone want to meet up at a bar and holler "GO WENDY" for a while?

Amphora

@smidge There was NO END to the honking and screaming and fireworks and oh god moving to the suburbs is looking pretty good this week

New Commenter Name

@Amphora NOPE, that was all taking place in the suburbs too.

katiemcgillicuddy

@smidge Congrats on the Cup, what a ridiculous 17 seconds! Go Wendy/Hawks!

whizz_dumb

@smidge I have loved hockey and The Blackhawks for a long time so watching the last minute-30 of last night's game over and over is very satisfying entertainment for me. Watching this is not quite as exciting but if Wendy wins it'll matter a whole lot more. GO WENDY!

hallelujah

OOH, AND ALSO: donate to the Lilith Fund, an organization in Texas that helps women access safe abortion services when they're unable to afford them themselves. Lilithfund.org y'all!!!!

franceschances

@hallelujah Just donated! Thanks for the tip!

elissa_what?

Her filibuster is mesmerizing. The stories are heartbreaking, and she's using this flat affect and slow voice to pace herself, and I can't stop listening. Fingers crossed, you guys.

Judith Slutler

gah I just can't listen to this right now. BUT, SO AMAZING.

blushingflower

I got teary-eyed just retweeting her, so I think I will not listen, but this is bad-ass and I am impressed.

ColdFinger

@blushingflower oh man. tear showers.

OxfordComma

Hell yes, lady.

Hope she is able to get through all 13 hours.

BoozinSusan

Uninformed comment here:
So, the bill has two parts. One would stipulate against abortions following 20 weeks; the second would require abortions to take place at surgical centers even though most of Texas' abortions are not performed surgically.
I understand and am against the second part of the bill, since it is obviously a move to wipe out existing abortions clinics and make it very difficult to have any abortion.
However, regarding the first part of the bill: I was under the impression that most people who have abortions would do so within the first three months of pregnancy. Five months, to me, an admittedly uninformed observer, seems like rather far along in the pregnancy. Can someone educate me as to when abortions are usually performed? 20 weeks, at first blush, doesn't seem that restrictive to me, but I'd like to be better informed. Is it that genetic defects can only be detected later?... Thanks!

Judith Slutler

@BoozinSusan Basically, yes, there are serious issues that can only be detected once the fetus is more developed. The kind of stuff that would mean the fetus has no properly developed brain at all and would survive for only hours outside of the womb, for example. AFAIK the vast majority of abortions between 20 and 24 weeks (current approximate cutoff for viability) are due to either severe health risks for the pregnant woman or severe fetal abnormalities.

klemay

@BoozinSusan Yes, most abortions are performed within the first three months. However, I see that as stronger evidence AGAINST later-term abortions. Think about it this way: if most abortions are performed early on, and someone wants to terminate later in the game, it's most likely for an extreme reason, right? Like the health (mental or physical) of the mother? A genetic defect that could kill the fetus shortly after birth? So why are we trying to restrict these types of abortions? And really, if we cared about lowering the number of abortions we'd start with better sex education and access to contraceptions.

hallelujah

@BoozinSusan Most serious fetal anomalies cannot be detected until around 20 weeks, which makes that 3-4 week difference absolutely essential. The vast majority of abortions after 20 weeks are done for that reason, although in some places access is so difficult & convoluted to obtain it can take that long for a woman to navigate the bureaucracy/save up the money. It's an incredibly cruel and arbitrarily deadline they're trying to put forth.

dorkmuffin

@BoozinSusan Just speaking from personal experience, I have a friend who didn't discover she was pregnant until just past the 4 month mark. She'd been taking birth control and had still had withdrawal bleeding on her off-weeks from the pill. She'd had minimal morning sickness that was mistaken for a food intolerance, and she'd gained weight in part (she thought) because she'd been working so hard and didn't have time to exercise. If she'd had the 20 week restriction in place, she might have only had a week or two to figure out what to do about her pregnancy, as she was understandably pretty conflicted.

I'd recommend reading this: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/16/magazine/study-women-denied-abortions.html?pagewanted=all

It's not a complete look at the issue by any means, but it tells the stories of some women who didn't quite discover they were pregnant until it was close to being too late to get an abortion.

(So in addition to all the issues with detecting fetal anomalies, it does happen that women sometimes don't quite figure out that they're pregnant in time)

BoozinSusan

@hallelujah Thank you, thank you! Now I just want to make a big banner that says "SMDH" in giant letters and point it at all of Texas.

liverwortlaura

@BoozinSusan or also in the horrendous situations in which a pregnant woman discovers she has a terrible illness like cancer, and she should have the right to choose whether she wants to undertake the risk of treatment on the fetus :( IMO, restricting 20 week abortions is a really serious way of kicking women who are already down.

elissa_what?

@BoozinSusan It's also particularly insidious that these restrictions are enacted in tandem: if the second restriction means only five clinics will be open in the state, then women will have to travel farther and wait on longer waiting lists to access abortion services, making the shorter deadline more problematic.

Judith Slutler

@liverwortlaura Yeah, and about that, the bill contains no health exception. It does have a "life exception" but that seems to be an exceedingly high bar to clear:

The bill provides an exception for the life of the pregnant person, though only if the person is physically in danger; an abortion may not be performed if there is a “claim or diagnosis that the woman will engage in conduct that may result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.”

There's also no rape or incest exception.

hallelujah

@BoozinSusan OH AND ALSO, this kind of restriction also seriously complicates treatment of miscarriages - doctors are afraid to perform a D&E even if the fetus is no longer alive because the procedure itself has been criminalized, forcing a woman to carry her dead baby for however long it takes for her body to expel it. Its disgusting.

Diana

@BoozinSusan

This is a placeholder comment until somebody with more time can elaborate since I'm having a busy day at work BUT: the vast majority of post-20 week abortions are the result of medical issues or previously undetected birth defects. Think: a fetus that isn't developing properly, a fetus that has died in the womb at 22 weeks, a woman who is diagnosed with cancer halfway through her pregnancy, etc.In the case of the very rare entirely elective 20+ week abortion, they can be the result of our fucked up health care system in which a woman can't get an appointment in time or has to earn enough money to pay for the procedure in the first place. There are mandatory waiting periods and let's not forget the whole point of this bill is to shut down all the clinics - 87% of counties in the United States don't have abortion providers. How do you get time off work when the nearest clinic is 400 miles away and you have no vacation time? Oh, and that's assuming that the woman doesn't go to a 'crisis pregnancy clinic' whose sole purpose is to delay women through runarounds and misdirection until she's too far along to get an abortion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 4.1% of abortions are performed at 14-20 weeks and 1.4% were performed after 21 weeks.

In case you missed it, I would recommend reading this Hairpin article, the linked NYT article and the comments section.

Hope this answered some questions, but like I said I hope somebody else (Lola?) chimes in with more information for you.

wee_ramekin

@BoozinSusan A point that others have touched on above is that a fetus is not viable outside of a woman's womb until 24 weeks. It cannot survive outside of her body before that point, which to me is reason enough for a woman to able to get an abortion for whatever reason she wants up until that time.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, only 1.5% of abortions take place after 20 weeks. As someone else said, that percentage largely represents abortions that occur because of a risk to the mother's health, or because of fetal abnormalities; cases where access to abortion should NOT be restricted.

Verity

@elissa_what? if the second restriction means only five clinics will be open in the state
Is that small a number of clinics likely to be the sort of outcome? Because, seriously, Texas is huge; only five clinics sounds like a terrifyingly small number.

elissa_what?

@Verity That's the number I'm seeing reported everywhere that currently meets the surgical standards put forth in this bill. I'm not sure how expensive it would be to get other clinics up to this standard, how long it would take and how likely they'd be able to reopen. It's such a terrifying number! The ones that would close are, of course, in mostly rural and lower-income parts of the state.

wee_ramekin

@Verity It is a terrifyingly small number. Take a look at this map:

If SB5 passes, then there would be no abortion clinics east of Austin. A woman in El Paso (at the tip of the 'head' of Texas) would have to drive 600 miles one way to get an abortion. Any abortion at all, at any point in her pregnancy.

It fucking horrifying.

adorable-eggplant

@elissa_what? The other problem is requiring doctors to have admitting privileges elsewhere: "Also, doctors would be required to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles — a tall order in rural communities." (http://gawker.com/texas-lawmaker-braving-backbreaking-filibuster-to-stop-575168871) There wouldn't be anywhere to go west of I-35 or north of Dallas. For some reference, it's about an 8 hour drive from El Paso (western most tip) to Austin. The panhandle is even further away, although maybe they could head for Oklahoma?

Verity

@wee_ramekin Jesus. That's appalling.

wee_ramekin

@adorable-eggplant So, the ostensible purpose of requiring abortion practitioners to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital is to make sure women have access to a hospital if something were to go wrong during the abortion.

The problem with this requirement is that you have to have a certain number of cases that you refer per month to a hospital to receive admitting privileges, and abortion is such a safe medical procedure that abortion doctors wouldn't be able to meet those criteria. That's the mind-blowingly sinister thing about that requirement, to me.

Here is an article about other hurdles erected that requiring a doctor to have admitting privileges.

elissa_what?

@adorable-eggplant From what I've heard, women in Oklahoma are already coming to Texas for abortions... :-/

fondue with cheddar

@wee_ramekin Not only is there the distance problem, but if there are so few clinics those clinics will be busier, which means most women will not be able to get an appointment before the 20-week window has closed.

panquecito

Having no previous knowledge of Wendy Davis, and basing this solely on her Texas heritage, her feminist courage in the face of know-nothing dumb-dumbs, and her awesome hair, it seems to me that she's the real life Tami Taylor.

Could there be anyone more bad-ass? I THINK NOT

adorable-eggplant

@elenachicago She's amazing!! She also went to bat with a filibuster to temporarily block $5.4 billion in education cuts two years ago. She became a single mother (at 19, I think) and then worked her way through college and then Harvard Law. She's basically a superhero.

panquecito

@adorable-eggplant And according to Wikipedia she was on city council so hellooooo she's got a touch of the Leslie Knope! 100% a superhero!

emilywhite

@elenachicago According to Wikipedia, she was the first in her family to graduate from college (and graduated first in her class!), so I can also imagine her as Future Tyra Collette, maybe?

Lisa Frank

@elenachicago Yes, I think she definitely needs to be inducted into the Tami Taylor Hall of Fame!

theharpoon

@elenachicago More like the Ann Richards & Barbara Jordan Hall of Fame - as awesome as Tami Taylor is, there are lots of real life amazing Texas women.

skyslang

@elenachicago Wendy Davis for president.

testingwithfire

On a slightly related note, would like to remind all Massachusetts Pinners to get out and vote for Markey today, to help keep the feds a few steps away from what Amy Gentry describes in her blog post linked above.

HereKitty

@testingwithfire Totally related, and thanks for this. Every time it seems sanity has prevailed, something like the Supreme Court agreeing to reconsider the clinic escort bill happens and I get those shooting pains in my head again.

TheBourneApproximation

@testingwithfire Done and done!

TheBourneApproximation

@testingwithfire And yaaaaay! Markey won!

darklingplain

Ugh, the guy asking her questions now is such a troll. "The intention of the people who wrote it, including me, was to increase safety." NO IT IS NOT SHUT YOUR MOUTH.

darklingplain

@darklingplain "Do you believe the traditions of the Texas senate are more important than woman's safety?" God, what paternalistic bullshit.

darklingplain

@darklingplain Sorry, I'm watching this in a library and have to rage here to stop myself from swearing out loud.

adorable-eggplant

@darklingplain I can't watch with the volume on, so I'm enjoying the commentary.

Mila

@darklingplain Oh my god, what a bastard.

blushingflower

@darklingplain I watched for a little and then I had to stop because he was such a fucking asshole.
Maybe he does honestly believe that requiring abortions to be performed in ambulatory surgical centers will make women safer, but his complete unwillingness to believe that the requirement is so onerous as to shut many clinics down was really frustrating. Also, the part where he said that abortion clinics make enough money to afford the upgrades really fucking pissed me off.

emilywhite

I am so glad that a man stood up to tell us what this was REALLY all about.

emilywhite

@emilywhite And if this isn't just the crux of it.
Sen. Davis: I have lived at the point where I could not afford an extra gallon of gas for my car.
Sen. Deuell: I have given a woman gas money, so I too understand this experience.
UGH.

elissa_what?

@emilywhite hahaha, perfect summary. I couldn't put my finger on why that remark was so terrible, but you nailed it.

ColdFinger

Oh, this lady is fierce. Is anyone watching? That guy who is a sponsor of the bill who is heckling her is absolutely despicable, and she's handling him like a pro.

(He just suggested that it's ok to make women come back to a clinic repeatedly if the same doctor who first viewed a sonogram isn't available because he's given his patients gas money before. WTF?)

ColdFinger

@ColdFinger "they make a lot of money with these abortions..." GRRRRRR.

darklingplain

@ColdFinger I was just coming here to quote that. D:

At least all his going on gives her voice a rest?

ohmy

I wish those that support this measure would at least have the decency to admit that this bill isn't about safety, it's about restrictions.

GO WENDY.

darklingplain

Now he's saying that there are "many" abortions taking place in Texas far past the point of viability for no other reason than because they're not wanted. Which I'm pretty sure has been disproven higher in the comments.

darklingplain

@darklingplain Oh, and "dating a pregnancy is hard," apparently. Thanks, that definitely means you should make more regulations based on pregnancy dates!

Lisa Frank

What is all this bullshit about "the tone of the conversation"? What are they implying?

Lisa Frank

@Lisa Frank "We haven't talked about the rights of the unborn, because they don't have any rights because of Roe v. Wade." Raging!!!!

Amphora

@Lisa Frank "unborn" sounds like "undead"

darklingplain

Wow, the guy talking now isn't even trying to pretend that he doesn't just want to stop abortions.

wee_ramekin

@darklingplain That's Eddie Lucio, and he's a Democrat >_<.

elissa_what?

@wee_ramekin She is being SO respectful to him! I would have trouble doing that with everyone.

darklingplain

@darklingplain "I want to encourage everyone here to go home today and write their mamas to thank them for being pro-life, or else they wouldn't be here today!" Brb writing my mom and thanking her for being hardcore pro-choice and taking me to march in a pro-choice protest when I was twelve. And I know she had me and my brother and sister because she wanted children and was ready to have children, not because she felt obligated to.

emilywhite

@darklingplain As someone who had a very religious, very pro-life adolescence, I am pretty willing to hear out people who are deeply pro-life AND committed to making sure children have good lives once they are born. BUT I will not be writing to my mother to thank her for being pro-life, because she is not, and yet I exist. And I have read other Pinners' stories of how their mothers' abortions made it possible for them to exist, or to have a good life, or how their own abortions made them better parents, or citizens, or people. So, I call bullshit on that.

wee_ramekin

@elissa_what? You know, to his credit, he actually is fighting for what a lot of us liberals call "pro-life" measures. According to her response to him, he was trying to pass a bill this session that would provide for more school lunches for poor children. I don't think that makes it okay for him to restrict a woman's access to abortion, but at LEAST he's being cognitively consanant in his position.

j-i-a

@wee_ramekin whoa. eddie lucio. my dad used to be golf buddies with him and i used to write him letters at christmas. WHOAAAAAAAA

Inkling

@j-i-a
Anthrax it UP this Holiday Season.

fondue with cheddar

@darklingplain Ugh, as if every pro-choice woman has an abortion every time she gets pregnant.

My mom is pro-choice, and I thank her for choosing me!

VDRE

"Everyone should go home and thank their mom for being pro life or they wouldn't be here today"
NOPE! My mom is pro choice and somehow I'm still here!

hallelujah

@VDRE Yup! Personally, I am so pro choice I would perform abortions recreationally if they granted the license (ETA to help remedy the lack of providers, not because I'm a bloodthirsty monster) & yet here I sit with a baby on my lap. It's almost as if prochoice women simply respect other women & their healthcare decisions, as opposed to being anti-birth in all circumstances! WHO WOULDA THUNK IT

Verity

@hallelujah I bet you're planning to eat that baby.

Mae
Mae

@Verity Babies are tasty.

Faintly Macabre

@VDRE I decided to try this out on my mom, who had an abortion when she was 19 and probably wouldn't have had me or my sister if she hadn't. She is also very tired right now.
Me: Mom?
Mom: What.
Me: A Texas State Senator would like me to thank you for being so pro-life...
Mom: [Frightening mom skeptical look and raised eyebrows]
Me: [weakly] ...and therefore my existence right now.
Mom: Okay.

I guess I no longer owe my mom any gratitude for bringing me into this world? Thanks, dude, this will make Mother's Day a breeze!

Angry Panda

I am sad this had to be done, but this woman is so inspiring.

Verity

She sounds amazing, and I hope that she manages to do this. (Filibusters sound so hard; I am so impressed with her. Can't someone do what they did in the West Wing and ask a long question in order to allow her a break?)

laurel

@Verity Here's some info about TX filibuster rules. It does say she can take questions; I don't know if there's a length provision.

elissa_what?

@Verity That's the silver lining every time one of her opponents asks her a question that is actually a long rant! She gets to rest her voice...but not her legs or anything else.

elissa_what?

Does anyone know why abortions can't just happen in more ob/gyn offices (like ablations and other procedures) or in hospitals? It is because of hospital religious affiliation (seriously, it's terrifying to me how almost all of the hospitals in my area are owned by a religious organization), or insurance reasons, or what? It seems like part of the problem is that abortions are only available in these special clinics and I can't find a lot of information on why that is.

Amphora

@elissa_what? It's purely a political restriction. In Illinois all abortion providers have to have hospital privileges, unlike, say, dentists or other outpatient care providers.

cherrispryte

anyone else spent the afternoon listening to this, weeping quietly at their desks while half-heartedly attempting to work?

Angry Panda

@cherrispryte I'm not from the U.S, it's midnight where I live and I should go to bed, but I can't stop listening to her. It's incredible that we live in a world where this still needs to be done. The amount of misogyny in the world is simply exhausting, but I am so glad for people like her.

SuperGogo

@cherrispryte Oh man, these letters that she's reading. UGH! So good, so moving, so kick-ass.

emilywhite

@cherrispryte I don't have to work today or tomorrow, which has been a blessing given this filibuster and all the SCOTUS decisions coming down this week. My immense sympathies are with everyone who has to keep up a professional demeanour while watching their assorted rights circle the drain.

elissa_what?

So if I donate to Wendy Davis's campaign fund, can she use that money to get a long massage and spa treatment when this is all over?

laurel

Her website is still accepting stories to be read as part of her filibuster. They have to be on-topic or else she'll be in violation of the TX filibuster rules.

wee_ramekin

@laurel Yessssssssss, #samebrain.

laurel

Note: they don't have to be stories about an abortion one has had. They can be about why you support choice and access, etc.

wee_ramekin

TEXAN PINNERS

If you want to contribute a story or opinion that Senator Davis can read on the floor, I just received an e-mail from her office that she is still accepting stories.

If you don't live in Texas, pass this on to any pro-choice Texan you know! Unfortunately, it will not help for you to record a comment (you need to have a Texas zip code to submit), but you can get the word out!

elissa_what?

WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?? I get so nervous every time her voice stops!

elissa_what?

@elissa_what? Did she get a warning? I had to take a phone call and I am now trying to get info from YouTube comments.... :-/

wee_ramekin

@elissa_what? I think that someone called a Point of Order because she and Senator Watson were discussing Roe v. Wade. Republicans wondered whether that was "germane" to the discussion or not. #headdesk

elissa_what?

@wee_ramekin Thank you! Are you down there? I'm going to head that way soon!

katiemcgillicuddy

@elissa_what? I think @wee_ramekin is right. #throwsselfaway

wee_ramekin

@elissa_what? I'm not! Unfortunately I have a burdensome level of schoolwork that I have to do and I can't go down there >_<. BUT, I have been following the #SB5 tag on Twitter, which is providing awesome up-to-the-second updates.

Also, a little humor. Someone on Twitter just tweeted: "Drawl, Watson [Ed. - The man currently questioning her, a pro-choice Democrat. He's helping her out!]. DRAWL FOR ALL OUR SAKES". Love it.

laurel

@elissa_what? She did not get a second warning. Nichols' objection to Watson's question was "respectfully overruled." Also, it gave her a long break.

6 hours down!

emilywhite

@wee_ramekin @Elissa_what? Yes, Sen. Watson was asked to approach after he stated that he was planning to tie his questions about Roe directly to the bill. Re. warnings, I THINK they clarified that warnings about non-germane questions would only stick to the question-asker. I hope she got a good stretch in during that long chat!

Edit: or, what @laurel said. :)

elissa_what?

@wee_ramekin That's awesome :-) Good luck with your schoolwork! I'm supposed to be working and I've just been so mesmerized by this live feed; I think I might actually get more done if I just go down there and work on paper!

elissa_what?

@emilywhite @laurel

Thank you guys for responding! I'm so grateful to have this thread today.

The Lovecats

@wee_ramekin Good luck on your paper! My research is in abortion history and I believe that this counts as school work for me.

laurel

Oh, I forgot TX is in Central Time. She's passed SEVEN HOURS, not six!

The Lovecats

You guys.
I missed the testimony from women and I'm in tears anyway. I am in awe of this woman!

The Lovecats

@The Lovecats
So so grateful... and I don't even live in Texas - or the USA.

martinipie

I'm not getting sound HALP

laurel

@martinipie They've been called to approach the bench. The mics are off.

Some ass is trying to get her a second warning because someone assisted her with a back brace.

The Lovecats

@laurel This is about a back brace?

laurel

@The Lovecats Yup.

martinipie

@laurel Thanks for the info but: UGGGHHHHHH

katiemcgillicuddy

@laurel Seriously, what kind of piece of garbage is trying to get her a second warning about this.

Oh, it was Sen. Tommy Williams, R-The Woodlands. That's the piece of garbage. Got it.

emilywhite

@laurel I am also loving Sen. Zaffirini for that parliamentary inquiry right now! Not that Sen. Davis can't handle the standing, but we've got to follow ALL the rules! I wonder how long she was waiting on that one.

Edit: wait, what? How else do you interpret a rule that says you "shall sit down... until the question of order is decided."

The Lovecats

@emilywhite
Are you kidding me senators? We are here to talk about women's access to abortion. Do people see this as a good thing? Like it helps the clock run out? or is this just ridiculous??

ETA: although this is a very interesting history lesson. I'm so fascinated!
ETA again: ok. so this is strategic?

emilywhite

@The Lovecats They are really just trying to run out the session before they can call a vote on the bill--Sen. Davis has to talk about abortion because Texas filibusters have to be germane to the bill. I think Sens. Ellis and Zaffirini are taking advantage of the opportunity to talk about filibustering instead to contribute to running out the session, and to persuade other members as the question is put about whether she can continue. (I think?)

katiemcgillicuddy

@all BOOM. ZAFFIRINI DROPS MIC.

The Lovecats

@emilywhite Thank you for responding! I feel like this is a safe place to ask potentially dumb questions.
Thank you.

The Lovecats

@emilywhite I feel like I understand the strategy and that I understand that we maybe can't talk about abortion for 13 hours, but I worry that this kind of thing takes away from the issue? What do you guys think?

emilywhite

@The Lovecats To clarify, the original back brace challenge is NOT part of the plan; it was an attempt to end the filibuster. I agree that talking about abortion for 13 hours would be more powerful than talking about filibustering, but I'll take anything.

Edit: lost Internet for a while--I think at this point they're at "do anything to keep HER from incurring the third warning."

The Lovecats

@emilywhite Agreed. Thanks again!

bitzyboozer

@The Lovecats She can't just talk about abortion in general either, it has to specifically be about SB5. If it's not about the bill specifically in question she's off topic and it's a point of order.

The Lovecats

@bitzyboozer I see. Thanks for the clarification.

bitzyboozer

@The Lovecats To give you an idea of the ridiculousness: the first warning she got was for discussing Roe vs. Wade. Deemed not germane.

The Lovecats

@bitzyboozer GAAAAAHHHHH!!!!

Tape Recorder

@katiemcgillicuddy Ugh, The Woodlands is THE WORST.*

*Not actually. There are some great people there, but as someone who spent her childhood there I am so glad I got out.

martinipie

You go Zaffirini!

eta: watching this has once again reaffirmed for me that I have absolutely zero desire to ever be a politician

like a rabid squirrel

All of this debate about her back brace is dovetailing in a really fucked up way with Texas Republicans' complete disrespect for women's bodily safety, comfort, and integrity. D-bag bullies, all of them. Also YOU GO Judith Zaffirini!

(drinking, crying, watching the filibuster)

The Lovecats

@like a rabid squirrel Here Here!

martinipie

"what the politics of this issue is doing to this body"

O RLY

3penny

Texas pinners, share your stories now! Senator Davis needs material. Posted on June 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm

whizz_dumb

Now this is some ridiculous bullshit.

laurel

@whizz_dumb Yep, and that back brace nonsense resulted in a second of three cautions before the body gets to vote on whether the filibuster can continue, which, given the 19R/12D makeup, she'd lose.

The Lovecats

"Not at this time!" Fantastic.

The Lovecats

@The Lovecats This is the kind of analysis that I was hoping for... not just filibuster processes.

The Lovecats

@The Lovecats I feel like she's just picking up speed as she goes!
I realize I'm having this conversation with myself.

adorable-eggplant

@The Lovecats No, I'm reading (and trying not to hyperventilate)!

wee_ramekin

@The Lovecats When the other Senate Democrats were talking about filibuster process, they were helping Senator Davis. She has been talking since 11:00 this morning; they were giving her time to rest her voice and compose her thoughts. Those questions about filibuster process were vital contributions.

They were also rightfully trying to defend a spirit of comity in the Senate. The senators brought up the fact that in the past, members of both parties have respected a filibustering senator's basic humanity (by giving cough drops, forming a "human wall" around them as they urinated in wastebaskets, etc.). Senator Whitmire was trying to caution the Senate against becoming so set in their party affiliation that they cannot respect each other as humans. I think the 15 or so minutes that they talked about this doesn't detract from the 12+ hours of Senator Davis's discussion of the bill.

The Lovecats

@adorable-eggplant Thanks.
I think this is such a well articulated analysis. Not only for someone who has been talking all day, but for anyone.

The Lovecats

@wee_ramekin Thank you for clarifying. I just started watching, so I didn't have a sense of how long she had been talking. ETA: or what she had said already - I was uninformed.

I really appreciate your explanation.

adorable-eggplant

@wee_ramekin OH as the person filibustering peed in the wastebasket! My first reading was very different (human wall of pee'ers).

I think the other Dem's were trying to do her a solid by eating up the clock (although getting a point of order called in the first place was a misstep) the questions about the process also might be useful if they can find a way to challenge or over turn the points of order (for example, I'd say defunding Planned Parenthood is VERY germane, because it answers the question of why clinics don't have money to simply change their facilities or why there are so few clinics serving such a huge population in the first place; also, it does say he/his and that would be a lovely technicality).

ETA: I had to stop typing mid sentence because there's been a point of inquiry and I need to wheeze into a paperbag for a bit.

hallelujah

GO WENDY GOOOOOOOO

ohmy

Last night everyone in Chicago was rooting for the Blackhawks and I didn't care. Tonight I'm rooting for a representative in Texas and the rest of Chicago probably doesn't care.

greentypewriters

@ohmy no no no I'm in Chicago and basically bit all my nails off all day because of this! And was a grumpy old person at everyone celebrating in the streets last night. Solidarity!

panquecito

@ohmy // also in chicago, also watching! solidarity times two!

callheralaska

@ohmy I'm in Chicago too, having a bit of trouble breathing.

brookezilla

Not feeling so great about this delay of game situation here....

darklingplain

No, why is this happening?

RK Fire

@darklingplain So she ended her filibuster, but it seems like other Texas Senators are stepping and trying to ask a lot of procedural questions in order to delay the vote anyway. Is that an accurate read of what is going on?

darklingplain

@RK Fire I believe her filibuster is not quite over, because they're trying to get the chair to repeal the decision to uphold the decision to sustain the point of order. If they do, they'll vote on whether to sustain or not, and then vote to end the filibuster.

RK Fire

@darklingplain Ahh, okay, that is helpful. I just decided to check into the livefeed 10 minutes ago, but I need to go to bed.

Hollye

Can someone tell me how she "broke" the germaneness rule the 2nd time?

emilywhite

@Hollye The second germaneness ruling had to do with discussing the sonogram law passed last year. Clearly has nothing to do with the current abortion bill. (The second "strike" overall was the back brace discussion hours ago.)

Hollye

@emilywhite See that confuses me though- if she was using the sonogram law to make an overall point or comparison about the current bill...that's not okay? How can she make a point about anything ever if that's the case?

emilywhite

@Hollye They are claiming that she was not using it to speak directly about the current bill. There were a couple of hours after the first germaneness strike in which Sens. Davis and Watson put the words "in SB5" into every sentence; they clearly should have kept that up. (In other words, yes, it's ridiculous.)

theharpoon

I have never hoped so fervently in my life that politicians could argue about rules for an hour and a half

The Lovecats

@theharpoon I concur. Thank you Hairpin for explaining all of this!

laurel

30 minutes left.

adriana

@laurel
I'm so tired, but then I remember that she's been standing for 12.5 hrs and I'm not as tired anymore.

adriana

@laurel
THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING. 17 mins.

darklingplain

Wait what was the vote they just voted on?

Tape Recorder

Leticia van de Putte is the definition of badass: "At what point must a female senator raise her hand to be seen or heard over the male colleagues in the room?"

laurel

@Tape Recorder OMG. Listen. Eight minutes left.

katiemcgillicuddy

@laurel This is fucking incredible. Sobbing.

vonrouge

@Tape Recorder Is that a vuvuzela?!?

EpWs

THE GALLERY DOES NOT YIELD THE FLOOR

emilywhite

Did they get through the roll call? I heard Zeffirini called, but also the chair talking about suspending the vote?

emilywhite

@emilywhite (it sounds like yes and the bill passed 19-10? Is that right? Help!)

Better to Eat You With

@emilywhite I wonder if they voted earlier, during the chaos, to extend the session, knowing that people would begin to quiet down at midnight, since they're voting on the bill now.

VDRE

Is 10 minutes of cheering a legit way to round out a legislative session? I HOPE SO.

adriana

THIS IS FUCKING EPIC.

Frankie's Girl

OMG - what is happening now???
(I'm in Houston and I'm going to be even more ashamed that usual to be in Texas if that damned thing passes after Ms Davis heroic efforts)

ohmy

I am so confused. WHAT HAPPENED?

adriana

@ohmy I don't know! The Twitterverse says it passed? Not super reliable but if it's true, WTF.

Tape Recorder

@ohmy GOP actually claiming they voted before midnight to pass the bill.

ohmy

@adriana This article:http://www.wfaa.com/news/politics/Abortion-issue-goes-down-to-the-wire-at-Texas-Legislature-212857491.html
says it passed in the headline but then doesn't talk about it? It seems like they were voting after midnight, which is illegal.

Judith Slutler

@ohmy idgi. Now people who are IN the chamber are saying that it didn't pass?

Kat, Holy Soap ‏@meadowgirl 10m
NO THEY DID NOT. I AM HERE. RT @AP: BREAKING: Republicans pass new restrictions expected to close almost every abortion clinic in Texas.

emilywhite

@Judith Slutler See my comments above--I think they took a roll call vote around 11:52, in the midst of the shouting. People in the gallery may not have been able to hear, and Senators were walking around as the Sec. called names.

Judith Slutler

@emilywhite The Dallas News liveblog is saying it's unclear whether it passed before midnight. http://trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/06/wendy-davis-begins-filibuster-to-stop-omnibus-abortion-bill.html/

ohmy

@emilywhite I remember learning in US history about all the insane things that used to happen in Congress- dudes attacking each other, challenging each other to duels. back then I was like "That's insane, that would never happen today!" and now that I'm just "Same as it ever was."

on the bright side, this thing is probably going to court real soon.

emilywhite

@Judith Slutler Thanks for the link! Lots of interesting info there. I'm still on tenterhooks waiting for adjournment--or a resolution of the question around the final filibuster-ending vote that never happened, or the three strikes rule, or anything. And I want to know how to become a parliamentarian!

Frankie's Girl

Okay, there is this saying that the filibuster DID work and the vote could not happen...
http://www.theverge.com/2013/6/26/4465316/texas-senator-abortion-filibuster-wendy-davis
So maybe? Please?
WHY are the stupid news sites not updating this?!?? I am checking the top three in Houston even, and none of them have anything but old stuff from early in the evening!

Judith Slutler

@Frankie's Girl It sounds like nobody's really sure what's going on.

Frankie's Girl

So some of the stuff I'm reading now said that they took a vote at 12:01, and are trying to say they started at 11:59... asshats!

And I should have been in bed a few hours ago, but i'm too keyed up to sleep now. :((

Live video feed just ended at 12:49 central time...

Cliterary Device

HEY EVERYONE!

The SB5 Bill is DEAD. Killed it, stomped it. I really enjoyed the way Wendy Dragged. Them. across the coals for this for so many hours.

Someone, get that lady a cold tall drink and a foot rub.

Cliterary Device

@Cliterary Device And we need to remember the names of the douchbags who brought this sloppy bullshit to the floor. Make sure they never get reelected ever again.

AND DON'T FORGET DOMA and PROP 8 GET RULED ON TOMORROW!!!

Judith Slutler

@Cliterary Device aaaaaahhhhhh yaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy

wee_ramekin

While we're pourin' one out for the indomitable Wendy Davis, let's not forget how Senator Leticia Van de Putte sparked a "peoples' filibuster" with her pointed question to Robert Duncan: "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?".

She crystallized the entire debate with that one question, evidenced by the spontaneous cheers of the crowd watching from the galley. Those cheers lasted the last 10 minutes until midnight, giving the people of Texas the last damn word in this filibuster.

anachronistique

@wee_ramekin Senator Van de Putte is my goddamned hero. She came to the capitol from her father's funeral and summed up everything that's been going on in one perfect sentence. And the eruption of noise from the gallery in response is what killed SB5 dead at last.

I'm so tired but I'm so proud.

oeditrix

@wee_ramekin Yes! I've just been writing about that in a piece for The Rumpus. I think it's so amazing that she essentially drove a stake into the whole business. God bless Kirk Watson, but how rad is it that it was a woman of Tejano descent who drove a nail in the SB5 coffin (at least for that session)?

fondue with cheddar

Wait...because of the Voting Rights Act ruling, Texas' redistricting and photo ID requirement means Davis will have a hard time getting reelected. FUUUUCK.

oeditrix

@fondue with cheddar An injunction has already been filed about the photo ID thing, and massive, volunteer-led voter registration and education drives are going to feature prominently in the next elections. I'm marking my calendar! Here's hoping it helps.

fondue with cheddar

@oeditrix That's great! I hope it helps, too. Thanks for the update. :)

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