Last night’s incredible defeat of Texas Senate Bill 5, which would grossly limit safe access to abortion and reproductive health care, has largely, and rightfully, been attributed to Fort Worth Senator Wendy Davis. Her 13-hour filibuster was a critical piece of defeating the legislation. But we cannot understate the importance of other pro-choice senators in the legislature, who offered their support to Davis–– and the will of the pro-choice crowd sitting in the gallery during last night’s proceedings. Case in point: Last night, Davis’s fellow Democratic senator Leticia Van de Putte, who spent the day at her father’s funeral, challenged the Senate president after he failed to recognize her on the floor.
With ten minutes left before the bill was set to expire, Van de Putte asked the following parliamentary inquiry: “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?”
The crowd erupted in boisterous, powerful cheers. Cheers that lasted more than ten minutes and helped carry the bill past its deadline. Last night’s crowd––which included Frisky contributors Andrea Grimes and Dan Solomon––offered a passionate reminder of the value of all our voices in the struggle over women’s reproductive health care and rights. Thank you, to Wendy Davis, Leticia Van de Putte and every other voice that refused to be silenced during last night’s contentious debate.
Early this morning, after a 13-hour filibuster yesterday led by Texas state Senator Wendy Davis, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst finally officially ruled that Senate Bill 5 – the devastating anti-abortion bill that would decimate women’s access to reproductive healthcare — had not come to a legal vote before midnight and was therefore dead. Shortly before midnight, Davis’ filibuster was sustained and a few others had to step in to help stall a vote until the clock ran out, asking a number of parliamentary inquiries. Then, Republicans legislators attempted to push for a vote, but the pro-choice activists — Texas’s “feminist army” as they’ve come to be known — who filled the gallery drowned them out with chants and cheers, making it impossible for the vote to be completed before the clock struck midnight. (Meanwhile, as history was being made live, not a single major news network was broadcasting it.) Keep reading »
As of this writing, State Senator Wendy Davis is in her tenth hour of a 13-hour filibuster (you can watch here) against Senate Bill 5, a bill which would drastically limit Texas women’s access to safe abortions. If the bill is put into law, 37 of Texas’s 42 abortion clinics will be closed. Davis has promised to filibuster until the close of today’s Senate session, tweeting: “The leadership may not want to listen to TX women, but they will have to listen to me. I intend to filibuster this bill.
#SB5 #txlege” We’ve been watching a live stream of the filibuster and following along on Twitter, where an army of supporters both in and out of Texas are offering words of encouragement to Wendy via the #standwithwendy hashtag.
Even President Obama is in on it, tweeting: “Something special is happening in Austin tonight: http://OFA.BO/CBZ6c7
We’ve collected some of the powerful images that supporters (who are wearing orange “stand with Texas women” tees) are tweeting from the Texas legislature’s gallery, and we’re sharing them after the jump. Keep reading »
Texas State Senator Wendy Davis is currently in the process of filibustering SB5, the devastating anti-abortion bill that would decimate women’s access to reproductive healthcare. To stop the bill, Davis will need to speak continuously for 13 hours in order to run down the clock and prevent a vote. Texas law prevents her from drinking, eating, sitting down, or taking a bathroom break for the entirety of her filibuster. She’s already been at it for over 5 hours, and while her voice is a bit hoarse, she shows no signs of backing down. So far she has read heartbreaking personal stories from hundreds of Texas woman, and respectfully and eloquently responded to some painfully condescending questions from her Republican colleagues (by the way, thanks for helping to run down the clock, guys!). Check out the livestream of her heroic stand for women’s health above. Send Wendy a Tweet of support @WendyDavisTexas, tag Tweets with #standwithwendy, or contact her through her website to tell her to please, please, please run for president. [RH Reality Check]
If you don’t live in Texas, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of House Bill 60 (HB60) and Senate Bill 5 (SB5), a pair of rabid anti-abortion measures that aim to effectively outlaw abortion across the entire state. I’ve followed the HB60/SB5 saga through the articles and Twitter updates of Texas pro-choice activists (and Frisky contributors!) Andrea Grimes, Dan Solomon, and Jessica Luther. These three are part of a group of hundreds of citizen activists who have set up camp at the State Capitol to demand access to reproductive healthcare, and they’ve been working their asses off to stop these bills. Keep reading »
Liberal guys like me are often kind of squeamish when it comes to talking about abortion. I mean, we support it. We describe ourselves as pro-choice. We share the ridiculous things that asshole Republicans say on Facebook. (Did you hear the one about the masturbating fetus…?) If we’re straight, and we maybe decide to join our girlfriends or wives or whatever at the rally, we’ll wear the pink or orange t-shirt they pass out, and when they chant “My body, my choice!” we will chant “her body, her choice!” and consider ourselves allies. Look at us A-plus dudes, cisgender and incapable of becoming pregnant, out there to demonstrate for someone else’s rights! We could just stay out of it, but we care!
I know that’s how a lot of men think of abortion rights: like it’s someone else’s fight, and we might occasionally show up and offer support. And while I understand the impulse, that’s not good enough. The fact that guys like me need to realize is that abortion rights are our rights, too.
When I was 23, a young woman I knew needed an abortion. More importantly to me, so did I. Keep reading »
Yesterday, the Republican-dominated House of Representatives advanced a so-called “fetal pain” bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Fortunately, it is not expected to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate and President Obama would veto the bill. Thus, the bill is largely symbolic.
The Orwellian-worded bill called the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is based on the idea, unsupported by the medical community, that fetuses can feel pain (and pleasure! They like to masturbate!) after 20 weeks. Numerous other bills have cropped up around the country, from Minnesota to Indiana to Texas, based on the same idea.
Not surprisingly, Republicans have a renewed vigor for “fetal pain” bills after the trial of Kermit Gosnell, a doctor who was found to have been killing babies in botched abortions — ironically, because the women who went to his inexpensive, illegally-run clinic were unable to obtain safer, earlier abortions. The House bill is sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), who made headlines last week for saying that pregnancy from rape is rare. Keep reading »
Frisky staffers are not the only ones finding pleasure with their hands between their legs. According to former OB/GYN and now Texas Congressman Micheal Burgess (a Republican, natch), male fetuses are masturbating as well!
“Watch a sonogram of a 15-week baby, and they have movement that are purposeful,” Burgess explained during a House committee on Monday when arguing for more restrictions against abortion. “They stroke their face. If they’re a male baby, they may have their hand between their legs. If they feel pleasure, why is it so hard to think that they could feel pain? Sometimes we have to give voice to the voiceless, and this is one of those times.” Keep reading »
Wait, I thought the GOP attached nodes onto all white male Republicans’ balls to deliver electric shocks as soon as their lips start to form the words “rape” and “pregnancy”? What happened? How did Rep. Trent Franks dodge that?!
At a House Judiciary Committee hearing today, Rep. Franks of Arizona said his ban on abortions after 20 weeks does not need an exception for rape and incest because pregnancy as a result from rape is rare. “The incidence of rape resulting in pregnancy are very low,” Dr. Franks announced. Keep reading »