It was a crazy day to wake up to yesterday (and I mean that in a positive way). After the heartbreak of waking up to our illustrious United States Supreme Court gutting Voting Rights the day before, I wasn’t holding out any hope for the next day. Fortunately, I was wrong.
Let’s talk about Texas. I’m not particularly fond of Texas. From afar, I considered the state rude, crude, and a misogynistic cacophony of women haters. Two years ago I had a chance to go to San Antonio. An ad in the airport in baggage claim stated that San Antonio was a Democratic city. I could see where they were right and I felt comfortable being there albeit a little underwhelmed. (Sorry, fellow Americans. There’s a reason why mom calls me a Torie. I basically faint at the sight of an English castle and shrug my shoulders at the Alamo.)
Even with the heart-warming and welcoming attitude of San Antonio, I never wanted to step foot in Texas again. Alas, airlines are determined to place my layovers in the odious state. Last year, I had to spend a few hours in the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. To make matters worse, as I was trying to enjoy a meal and forget where I was, TV monitors within my view were tuned to Fox News. Yes, Texas is on my permanent Sh** List.
Yet, to my everlasting consternation, I can’t write off Texas. Something I considered historically impossible happened in Texas. Let’s do a little last week history. Gov. Rick Perry in his finitely sneaky wisdom called a special session of the Texas legislature for the sole purpose of passing a horrendous anti-abortion bill.
NARAL Pro-Choice Texas and Planned Parenthood Action Fund caught wind of this and used social media to organize a protest. Hundreds of citizens converged in Austin to stage a citizen’s filibuster.
Now keep in mind that the abortion bills were still in committee. Apparently, when a bill is in committee, citizens can sign up to testify for or against the bill. There were 200 women plus many other people who testified into the wee hours of the morning to keep the committee from voting to advance the bills to the House floor. At 3:45 am, the committee chairman called an end to the filibuster stating that people were becoming redundant and he was getting bored. Yet, the citizens succeeded for that day because the committee left without taking a vote.
However, the next day, they voted to advance the bill in a closed session with NO news cameras in a room that only 30 people could fit in.
If the endeavors of the Texas citizens weren’t impressive enough, then Tuesday night’s filibuster surpassed that.
State Rep. Wendy Davis staged a difficult filibuster that lasted 10 hours. Texas filibusters are hard because there are exact rules to follow. The State Representative can’t leave for even a second. On Wednesday night’s Rachel Maddow show, Rachel laid out the guidelines for a Texas filibuster.
- Davis can’t leave for even a second to use the bathroom or eat.
- She can’t sit or lean on anything.
- She must remain on topic.
- No one can take over for her. (She has to do it all herself.)
- If they fault her three times, she’s done.
Which is why her filibuster lasted a little over 10 hours, she was faulted three times. The goal was to keep talking until midnight when the special session of the Texas legislature ends. She fell short by two hours.
The fun didn’t stop there. Her Democrat colleagues began asking questions, which is legal and can take up some time. One female lawmaker, state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte, made a little history of her own that night by asking her male colleagues, At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?
The audience began cheering at her question and didn’t stop. There was 15 minutes until midnight and they kept up their cheering and noise-making, disrupting the session until three minutes after midnight. Because of the noise, Texas Republican lawmakers could not take a vote and the efforts of Democrats and the audience killed the abortion bill.
I never thought I’d say this, but WAY TO GO, TEXAS! It’s disappointing that the bill was sponsored by a woman who believes that rape kits are used for abortions in hospitals. I’m not being condescending or sarcastic. I’m going to explain this for readers who honestly don’t know since I want to vent my opinion and correctly inform.
A rape kit is a set of items used by medical personnel for gathering and preserving physical evidence following an allegation of sexual assault which can be used in rape investigation. It only collects evidence. In no way is it a means of abortion.
Furthermore, this so called woman (I question the womanhood of anyone of the female persuasion against women’s health) thinks that [t]he woman had five months to make that decision.
This is not a black and white issue. Hardly anything in life is. To treat anything as such is the height of stupidity. There could be any number of medically valid reasons why a woman gets and abortion after five months. Listening to testimonies of Texas citizens, one of the reasons – and a good example why – is that the fetus has a physical deficiency to allow it to survive outside the womb. They were crying as they testified indicating that this was not an easy decision. Sure there are women without heart, but to assume that every woman who gets an abortion is without heart, is a false stereotype.
Is the fight in Texas over? Of course not! Less than 24 hours after the win, Texas Gov. Rick Perry called for another special session of the Texas legislation on July 1st. Can Texas surprise me again?