Wendy Davis filibusters Texas State Senate over SB 5 abortion bill
UPDATE: Following a closed-door session to determine whether or not the vote was valid, Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, announced to the assembled crowd, "SB 5 is dead" at roughly 2:15 a.m. CT. The official time stamp on the vote is 12:03 a.m. The announcement was met with cheers and chanting of "The people united will never be defeated." There has still been no official word.
Texas Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis attempted to endure a 13-hour filibuster, aimed at blocking the passage of an anti-abortion bill in the state. She took the floor at 11:18 a.m. with the goal of continuing until midnight, at which time the 30-day state senate session was to have ended.
According to the rules of filibustering she had to remain standing, without taking breaks or leaning on anything, and her discussion has to be on topic. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst announced nearly 11 hours in that the filibuster would end because Davis had gone off topic. The disruption of Senate continued.
However, the Texas Tribune reports that a vote was taken around midnight. It's unclear if it actually counts, though. After the Senate gallery was cleared, Republican state senator Dan Patrick told reporters, "I'm informed [SB5] passed 19-10." He was then interrupted by Democratic state senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, who claims the vote happened after midnight. "The whole process was rigged and the vote didn't happen until after midnight," he says. Democratic state senator John Whitmire says the time stamp on the vote is 12:02 a.m. "It's pretty conclusive that it didn't pass," he adds.
The state Senate's website shows a vote that the bill passed, with the date listed as June 25. It seems that the date was actually changed after the voting outcome was originally posted. Screen captures of the website show that originally the vote was counted on June 26, which is after the session ends.
Regardless of the outcome, the showing of support from the citizens of Texas speak volumes. "It was worth it, absolutely," Davis said outside of the Senate gallery.
If passed, the bill would close most abortion clinics in the state and include major changes in regulations. One of the changes would be the banning of abortions occurring 20 weeks past gestation.