The eyes of the world were on Austin, Texas last night. It was an issue of great importance to many people, and conservative politicians were poised to push their agenda no matter what.
Texas lawmakers issued bill SB-5 which essentially puts more restrictions on the rights of female reproduction. It would grant unnecessary burdens on the abortion providers which include shutting many clinics down and making abortion illegal for the large part. A special session was ordered to push the bill making sure it passes and becomes a law.
But most Texans disapprove of such sanctions:
Nearly three quarters of respondents said that personal medical decisions about whether to have an abortion should be made by a woman and her doctor, not by politicians. Fifty seven percent said they don’t trust the Governor or the legislature to make choices about women’s health care. And that opposition cuts across party lines: The support for women to make their own reproductive decisions remains strong among both Independents (76 percent) and Republicans (61 percent).
Word got out about the special sessions, and people came by the hundreds to protest the passing of SB-5. A live stream was set up broadcasting the showdown world wide online.
Democratic Senator Wendy Davis took the GOP to task with a filibuster that lasted more than 10 hours. However, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst wasn’t having it as he tried to stop the filibuster at least three times. Despite the GOP’s desperate attempt to have the bill passed as soon as possible, literally hundreds of women’s rights advocates, feminists and general citizens converged to show support for the killing of SB-5 and made their voices heard loud and clear putting pressure on the GOP.
Voting on the bill was supposed to last until midnight Texas time. However, as live stream videos and pictures have recorded, conservatives tried to stall beyond the time limit. The illegal and cowardly move was caught, and the numerous people present in that room and the thousands of people who tuned in were witnesses to a crime to protect Draconian patriarchy.
The hundreds of people who awaited the outcome of the voting waited outside the room. Word got out that the conservatives were scared as hell. They should’ve been. Yet, after a long wait, news broke out that SB-5 was dead. A short while later, it became official. Sen. Davis declared that SB-5 is no more.
It was a tense and exhausting moment for the supporters of women’s health. People worldwide did not agree with men in power feeling only they can decide what a woman should do with her body. It was a landmark event for many people as the Democrats stood up for the people on this issue.Last night struck a major blow in the fight against patriarchy, and the GOP is now squirming in defeat.
But the battle is far from over. Remember, there are politicians who heavily support pro-life while vastly favoring the dealth penalty and wars.
UPDATE: Alternet reports on how the GOP tried to undermine the efforts of the Democrats and rig the process in their favor:
The initial time stamp on the Capitol website and on Senate documents placed the vote at 12:02 or 12:03 on June 26. But then someone mysteriously changed the time stamp to make it appear SB5 passed before the deadline. The time stamp evidence, circulated on Twitter, eventually forced GOP leaders to admit defeat, at least for tonight.
It should also be noted that Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is trying to hold a second session to pass the abortion bill. Apparently, I was right when I said that this battle is far from over.