Just a bit more than a year ago, I fully admit that there were tears in my eyes as I read about Wendy Davis’ stirring filibuster to prevent what can only be described as a bill designed to restrict a woman’s right to choose in Texas.
The bill in question limited abortions to within the first 20 weeks rather than the more widely accepted date of before viability which is around 24 weeks. But more vitally, the bill also limited the clinics which could perform abortions to those which met the same surgical standard as a hospital, a standard which is of astronomical cost and unreasonable burden. It was estimated at the time that only 6 clinics in all of Texas would meet that requirement, all in major metropolitan areas.
Representative Davis went to extreme lengths to wind down the clock on the last day for discussion of any bills and when she faltered, the gathering of supporters in the viewing gallery made such a ruckus that the session had to be closed, and the bill was defeated (Source). Sadly, ex-presidential hopeful/running joke Rick Perry called a special legislative session and shoehorned the law in to place anyway just a few weeks later.
[pullquote]Judge Lee Yeakel said key provisions were unconstitutional because they in effect blocked access to abortion. ~BBC[/pullquote]
Since then, there have been a couple of different lawsuits seeking to overturn parts of the bill, and this week one of them has, at least for now, succeeded.
I can’t tell you how proud this makes me of my ostensible sortof neighbours to my sometimes east. I know that it’s just one guy standing up and making this change; and that previously an uncomfortable number of their legislative body OKed the whole thing in the first place, but I also know just how hard it is to unseat people like that. The incumbency rate for any elected office is ridiculous and hard to overcome.
So today I say well done to Texas. You’re less embarrassing today than Arizona. That’s not saying much, but at least it’s something!
And if you want to feel awesome today, watch some of the filibuster. Watch someone not be able to sit down, lean on anything, or take any sort of break for 10 hours. No reading from cookbooks or the bible here, no. Everything had to be on-topic. This was truly epic: