This is Wendy Davis.
Posted on June 26, 2013
How can I prep a blog post about, well, anything, when Texas state Senator Wendy Davis has been filibustering all day in what has felt like a real-life episode of The West Wing. Maybe comparing an exciting political event to The West Wing is a somewhat lazy allusion, but I can’t help but make it: there’s drama, there’s backstory, there are major characters, there are minor characters, there are high stakes, there are some people who are clearly out of their element and scrambling for excuses and outs, and there’s a down-to-the-wire debate. Oh, and there are even some villains, and some definite heroes. All we’re really missing are commercial breaks (what? I watched The West Wing back when it was on the air and we had to watch commercials) and soaring patriotic music.
Needless to say, I’ve been glued to my live feed for hours.
Even Ruthie got involved. At bedtime, while I was listening to the audio, she became frustrated when Sen. Davis was interrupted by a male senator. “Why is there a GUY talking now?” she demanded to know. “I thought it was her turn!”
Damn straight, baby.
The whole evening, I’ve been watching people try to work the rules to their advantage. I imagine both sides felt frustrated and exhilarated at different moments. The examination of whether or not the rules were properly followed will continue, as Royce West just announced that there would be a challenge to the legality of the vote, as he says (and it certainly looked like) the vote took place after midnight. As I write this at 1:39, numerous sources are debating whether or not the bill passed, I’m reading that some Republicans didn’t know whether they were voting for the bill or the “previous question,” and I can still hear the spectators shouting in the background of the live feed.
For me, the drama of the last few hours of the evening made it easy to lose sight of what this was about: whether or not requiring abortion providers to meet hospital-style standards is good for women’s health. But while Wendy Davis spoke, she spent a lot of time addressing the legitimacy of the claim that this bill was about protecting women’s health. I wish that pro-lifers, instead of trying to regulate abortion out of existence, would focus more on preventing unplanned pregnancies in the first place. I hope someone puts together a “best of” article full of video clips and quotes, because there were numerous times during her filibuster that I was either internet high-fiving my friends or saying to Chalupa, “Wow, now that is another great point!” I was awed by her poise, her stamina, her voice. I didn’t know who she was before today, and I’m so glad that I know who she is now. I certainly hope this is a sign of more good things to come from this incredible woman!
Edit: Looks like things were decided after I went to bed, and the bill was defeated. Congratulations on your hard work, Senator Davis!