A bill that would have closed nearly all of the abortion clinics in Texas has been voted down, thanks to the heroic stamina of Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat who decided to speak for 13 hours straight -- with no bathroom breaks and no leaning on anything -- in order to stop the vote on the bill, called the Texas SB5. The bill had to be voted on at a certain time, and because of Davis's filibuster, it was registered too late to be counted. Yeah, I don't really understand all of this stuff either, but let's look into it.
A filibuster is when a group of people or one person talks so long during a legislative process that it disrupts or even stops a vote on a given matter. It seems like it would be easy enough to put limits on how long someone could talk, but then I guess people would just band together and take turns filibustering. So they can do it as long as they follow very strict rules.
Davis was trying to stop the anti-abortion bill, which would have closed most of the state's abortion clinics, ban abortions after 20 weeks, and turn what abortion clinics were left into ambulatory surgical centers with severe limitations. Republicans behind the bill say it's for the safety of women -- but none of them have ever clearly stated how these changes would produce safer abortions. They sure would make it more difficult to get them at all, though.
Hundreds of people flooded the state capitol protesting the bill and backing Wendy Davis. They lined the balconies of the capitol, clapping and cheering. While Davis didn't quite reach her 13-hour mark -- she was stopped because of a dubious break in the rules -- the bill still didn't pass. Davis is certainly a hero to those who want to keep abortion legal and accessible!
Have you been following the Texas abortion debate? Here's Davis doing her crazy but heroic filibuster:
Image via CNN