One-Woman Show: Wendy Davis Blocks Texas' Anti-Abortion Bill

How the brave Texas senator shut down a stringent abortion policy.

wendy davis

The internet nearly exploded today (have you Googled "gay" today?) with two incredible wins for gay marriage: The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which prevented married gay men and women from federal benefits, was ruled unconstitutional, and with the dismissal of Prop 8, same-sex marriage can now resume in California.

But today also marks another important victory — the death of Senate Bill 5, which would've greatly restricted abortions in the second-most populous state had it become a law.


SB5 would have banned most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, tightened standards on abortion clinics and the doctors who work at them — and critics say it would have shut down about 90% of the abortion clinics in Texas.

So who is responsible for the epic filibuster? Meet Wendy Davis, the superstar Democractic senator, who stood in pink sneakers as she talked nonstop for 11 hours yesterday.

Beginning at 11 a.m., Davis stood (she was not allowed to sit down, lean on anything for support, take a bathroom or meal break or go off topic more than three times or the filibuster would end) and questioned the meaning of the anti-choice bill.


"What purpose does this bill serve?" she asked. "And could it be, might it just be a desire to limit women's access to safe, healthy, legal, constitutionally-protected abortions in the state of Texas?"

She read aloud touching stories and testimonies from women who opposed the legislation. She even broke down into tears while sharing a story about a woman who was forced to abort her pregnancy because of medical complications. 

Against opposing chants, and even confusion at one point that the bill had passed, the brave senator spoke until midnight about women's bodies and rights.

#StandWithWendy began on Twitter last night — and for a good reason too, the official vote was recorded at 12:03 a.m., making her fight against the anti-abortion bill a victory.


So why Davis?

Well, the 50-year-old senator is no stranger to fighting hard against the odds.

At age 14, she started working after school to help her single monther take care of her three siblings. Davis became a single mother herself at the age of 19. She worked two jobs to support her family, became the first one in her family to earn a bachelor's degree, and then graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. In 2008, she defeated a Republican incumbent and became state senator. 

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And, this wasn't her first filibuster. Last year, she single-handedly took on Governor Perry to stop $5 billion in cuts to Texas public schools.


It's also not her first success for the women of Texas. She's responsible for passing a law that will bring justice to rape victims and put sexual assault predators in jail before they commit another crime by addressing Texas' backlog of DNA samples from sexual assaults.

Davis summed up her huge win on Facebook today: "Thanks to the powerful voices of thousands of Texans, SB 5 is dead. An incredible victory for Texas women and those who love them."