I Stand With Wendy

Update (6/26/13 2:25 PST): Well, would you look at that! Governor Perry is just going to do it all again. Great.

Gov. Rick Perry is calling lawmakers back immediately for another special session to deal with abortion issues, and also to consider transportation funding and new sentencing guidelines for 17-year-olds convicted of capital crimes. Unlike the last 30-day special session, Perry is not waiting 16 days before adding abortion to the agenda. It will start immediately.

Update (12:35 AM PST): In case you missed it, the filibuster was halted at just under ten minutes to midnight in Texas. Protesters chanted and yelled until midnight, halting the proceedings. The senators voted anyway despite the fact that it was clearly past midnight.  Someone tampered with the records on the website so that the vote was recorded as having taken placed before midnight (jury’s still out on who — there will be hell to pay). Regardless, as the hundreds of thousands of viewers on the livestream saw, the vote really was recorded at 12:03 AM CST. Just now, Cecile Richards announced that Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has agreed that SB5 is dead.

I was watching via Christopher Dido’s livestream. What a night!

If you have the chance tonight, watch Texas Senator Wendy Davis live as she filibusters a particularly horrible and restrictive anti-choice law. She is being supported in person by both her back brace and The People’s Filibuster (if you’d like to help feed those fine folks, throw some bones at RH Reality Check).

No seriously, her back brace is officially a thing now. I’d imagine that standing without leaning for 13 hours would require at least a little extra help. After all, she is standing on behalf of 51% of the Texan population against a bunch of dudes who want to control their uteruses for some reason. As Senator Davis herself has pointed out tonight in her analysis of the law, the fetal pain notion is one that is completely unsubstantiated by actual science, so the claims about it seem to be coming from “up high.” Hmm, I wonder where that might be.

In all seriousness, this law is a first step in a really scary direction. I hope the filibuster goes well. I’m watching with bated breath.

The Twitterverse is abuzz with news and commentary about it and the comment thread on the livestream isn’t as much of a cesspool as you’d think it would be. Courtney Caldwell is live-blogging it as well.

Heina Dadabhoy

Heina Dadabhoy [hee-na dad-uh-boy] spent her childhood as a practicing Muslim who never in her right mind would have believed that she would grow up to be an atheist feminist secular humanist, or, in other words, a Skepchick. She has been an active participant in atheist organizations and events in and around Orange County, CA since 2007. She is currently writing A Skeptic's Guide to Islam. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+.

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  1. Anybody else notice that the Texas filibuster rules seem to be in complete disregard of the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990? Does this law not apply to state legislatures?

    Reasons to Hate Texas #7,895,326

    1. Yeah I was wondering about that too. I wonder if someone who used an assertive device day to day (crutches, wheelchair, walker, cane) would be allowed to filibuster. Probably not – and that is deeply fucked up.

      1. They already gave her a strike for having someone help her put a back brace on.

        3 “strikes” can end the filibuster, and a third strike was just sustained. Now dems are stalling and challenging the third ruling.

        1. Ugh one of the other “off topic” strikes was because she mentioned Planned Parenthood. Yeah, that has nothing at all to do with this topic, right guys? Right?

      1. I believe that there are more males than females who opposed Wendy Davis. I don’t know this for certain, but it’s not the point I was making.

  2. Go Wendy Davis!
    I’ve said it before, it’s only a matter of time before all that shit crosses the Pacific and it happens here.

    Slightly related, Newflash: Julia Gillard has gone :(

    1. I see you frowning about Gillard being out, and forgive me for not knowing much about Australian politics, but isn’t the guy who replaced her actually pro-marriage equality? She was not for marriage equality. Aside from her being an atheist and calling out misogyny and sexism, I don’t know much about her politics.

      1. I interpret that emoticon as “sad” rather than “frown” perhaps I am wrong?
        Anyway, no, you know plenty and I listen carefully, your breadth of knowledge commands respect and you are right once again re Rudd vs Gillard on marriage equality.

        The thing is tho, Rudd talks the talk but achieves little whilst the Gillard minority government had an impressive record of actual legislation (but failed to communicate those achievements effectively to the electorate).

        Rudd for instance had 3 fucking years (and a mandate) to bring in a Carbon Tax but failed to deliver and that is why the leadership challenge was mounted in 2010.

        Julia’s list included stuff like the Carbon Tax, National Disability Insurance Scheme, Gonski Reforms (big increase to school funding), increased Health funding to the States, National inquiry into child sexual abuse and about half a dozen other big reforms, done and dusted.

        1. Ah, sounds like she got a lot of good stuff done. =) Thanks for informing me!

          I interpret that emoticon as “sad” rather than “frown” perhaps I am wrong?

          Wrong? No. I wouldn’t argue with you on that! hehe. “Sad” and “frown” are essentially getting at the same thing to me. ;)

      1. Yeah I started listening to the feed during the back brace discussion. It seemed pretty weird to say the least.

        But the GOP tactics are incomprehensible. Why not pass the bill out earlier? They had plenty of time to do that. Either they were worried about a backlash if the provisions in the bill got actual discussion or it was all just a show for their supporters and they were trying to lose.

    1. Yeah, I was feeling pretty angry yesterday about this whole thing, but I was very proud of the protestors and Davis and the other democratic senators last night. That was an amazing show of strength and I was eating up the subversiveness of the protestors in the gallery.

  3. I was one of that screaming horde last night. It was truly one of the most amazing things I have ever been a part of. We were not, as Dewhurst accused us, “an unruly mob”, we were thousands of citizens committing an act of civil disobedience all at the same time. Wendy Davis was such an inspiration and all around badass.

    My ears still have that muffled feeling you get when you’ve been at a too loud concert and my throat is still hoarse and I only got 2.5hrs of sleep last night and I would do it again tonight if I have to.

    1. I am so proud of you, of Senators Davis, Ellis, Van de Putte, and of the people of Texas right now. I couldn’t watch the last part of the filibuster because everyone in my house was asleep but me so I had to content myself with crying in front of the Twitter feed instead. It was still amazing, and I can only imagine even more amazing to have been a part of.

    2. Thank you. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being subversive. Thank you for fighting corruption. Thank you for giving the people a literal and metaphorical voice.

  4. Hmm. As usual, the “defenders of the faith” have applied a 4 year old’s logic to solving a “problem of faith”, i.e., “If I don’t get caught, or punished, I must have been right.” But.. all those damn cameras, and… how dare other people own clocks! lol

  5. I was glued to the live feed until I fell asleep on my keyboard just after midnight. What an amazing process! I was stunned by how transparent the Lt. Gov’s attempts were to ramrod this through at the end, no matter how many rules he was violating. And I have to say I was getting a really creepy vibe off of the woman in white who was advising him every step of the way, whispering in his ear. Very much reminded me of Grima Wormtongue, from LOTR.

    1. That was the Parliamentarian, who was supposed to be advising on the rules. She came across to me in much the same way as you describe, though I was thinking about Game of Thrones. Thankfully, I was not the only one.

      She was obviously partisan, as at one point (when they were arguing that the motion to table was out of order) she helped them find some obscure secondary rule to overturn the rules about order they’d been using the whole night. Especially when the senator from Lubbock took over when Dewhurst stepped away–he looked like he was her puppet. There were moments when he would literally repeat what she was saying a few words at a time.

    1. I don’t know. His run in 2012 made him look like even more of a buffoon. And his last race against the (awesomely badass) former mayor of Houston wasn’t really that big of a victory (600,000 vote margin). If people get organized and we can get out the vote in a non-Presidential election year, it might be possible.

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