If there’s any doubt that one person can change the world, there should not be any that one woman can change a state. That woman is Wendy Davis. The Democratic Texas state senator boldly announced her intention to stop bill SB5 by tweeting, “The leadership may not want to listen to TX women, but they will have to listen to me. I intend to filibuster this bill.”
Bill SB5 would not only make abortions illegal after 20 weeks in Texas (the strictest anti-abortion bill in the whole country), it would also require such strict regulations that it would result in the closing of most of the abortion clinics in the state (leaving only 5).
The inhumane requirements of the filibuster: 13 hours during which she could not sit down, lean against any piece of furniture, eat, drink, take bathroom breaks, nor speak about any subject that was not “germane” to the bill did not deter Senator Davis from literally taking a stand (in pink running shoes, to boot).
In the end she spoke for 11 hours, as Republican Lt. Governor David Dewhurst stopped her filibuster by claiming that she had broken it by mentioning mandatory ultrasound testing, a topic that, according to him, is not relevant to the discussion of abortion. Wait, what about all the conservative states that have already passed laws requiring an ultrasound (sometimes a transvaginal one) before an abortion? Who cares? Today’s Republican party is made up of too many members who go by a new mantra, “If you can’t beat them, cheat.”
But Wendy Davis inspired too many women who would not allow the Republicans in the Texas state Senate to silence her or them. Their shouts of “Shame” succeeded in killing the bill (the final vote taken after midnight prevented the bill from becoming law).
The pro-choice women of Texas owe Wendy Davis a huge debt of gratitude.
As for the rest of us, women and men, who believe in self-determination, in individual freedom, who hold the conviction that the government has no right interfering in one of the most intimate and personal decisions that a human being can make, also owe Senator Davis a debt of gratitude for reminding us what the power of one can do.