GOP War on Women- Texas Wakes Up!

by Courtney C Horne @FireezDragon

Over the past few days in Texas, the GOP, used to doing whatever it wants in state legislative bodies it controls, has faced massive push back. From ordinary Texans.

Hundreds of Texans signed up to testify about horrifying abortion legislation which would close almost all clinics in Texas as well as ban all abortion after 20 weeks with no exemptions for rape in abortion. Texas Senate Bill 5- or as it is trending on twitter #sb5. This bill would leave all the women in west Texas without abortion access by regulating the clinics there out of existence.

These hundreds of Texans did not all get their voices heard. Sadly the GOP committee members decided to cut off testimony. Leave some of their citizens voices out. And eventually the Texas state house passed the legislation to a massive amount of outrage.  And to a Texas state rep (a republican) saying that there was no need to have a rape exception because rape kits kept that from being a problem.

A rule required a senate waiting period of 24 hours before they could debate on/ vote on the bill. On Monday, the GOP in the Texas state senate tried to ignore that rule. Thankfully, a supporter of the bill had the decency to vote not to ignore the rule while one of the democratic opponents of the bill was DEALING WITH HER FATHER’S FUNERAL and unable to vote. The vote to ignore the rule required 2/3 vote and was unable to be passed.

So on the 25th, at around 11 am, they began to be able to debate the bill. It had to be settled by midnight when the session ended. And a courageous woman, Wendy Davis, a woman whose office was once firebombed  (a favorite terror tactic of anti-choice extremists), took the floor to stand and speak on the bill until midnight. She got accused of breaking rules three times (one time because they decided planned parenthood  budget was not related enough to the abortion bill that required changes to clinics!!!!) and at 11:20ish after the third time a call came to end her filibuster.

This  lead to a lengthy argument about the decorum rules- during which the GOP has been reported to have cut democrats mics. When things got dire around 11:45, the thousands of Texans who were there to defend the women of their state began a people’s filabuster. They basically decided it was worth the risk of getting arrested to raise a giant ruckus in order to stop women from having their rights torn away.

The GOP claims they voted before midnight. At least some of the time-stamps on the vote put it at 12:02.  At least some of the Democrats stated that they did not believe a vote even occurred properly at all- that it was unclear a difference between the vote to end the filabuster and the vote on SB5.

And even if the GOP prevails with their illegal vote, (I was watching live and it was after midnight for sure) something very important has happened in the past few days. Texas has woke up and brought thousands of other Americans kicking and screaming into the daylight with them. 180 thousand people were watching live on youtube at midnight- watching and witnessing the Republican War on Women.

And with this awakening comes some hope for the future. Even if women lose this battle, they are ready for the war. They are awake and watching and they will fight to protect the progress women have seen in the last 50 years!

UPDATE: As of 2:22 am, June 26th, it appears to be official that the vote was after midnight and so the people’s filabuster has been successful in killing the bill.

Update: The bill was passed in a second special session. It will go to court inevitably and hopefully be thrown out but the bigger picture is that Texas is mobilizing.