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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

AP Reports the Texas Abortion-Restriction Bill Passed (Democrats, Internet Disagree)

Posted by on Tue, Jun 25, 2013 at 10:45 PM

Democratic Texas state senator Wendy Davis blew up Twitter as she attempted an all-day filibuster to stop a bill that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks and effectively shut down most abortion clinics in the state, aiming to run out the clock of the legislative session at midnight. But Texas Republicans successfully challenged Davis's filibuster—claiming she strayed from the topic—and attempted an eleventh-hour vote anyway. Or, as Democrats saw it, a thirteenth hour vote that wasn't legal.

With minutes left before the session closed at midnight, the gallery erupted in cheers to try drowning out a roll call and thwart the vote. (Without a doubt, it was the most exciting impromptu direct action I've ever seen/heard/teared up watching.) But whether protesters succeeded is still in dispute. For their part, the AP claims the bill passed:

Texas Republicans have passed new abortion restrictions expected to close almost every abortion clinic in the nation's second most populous state.

The Republican-controlled House voted for the bill while hundreds of protesters screamed from the gallery. Reporters and Democrats saw the voting begin after midnight, but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst said it began just before.

Everyone watching—and tweeting—seemed to see the vote happen after midnight, after the session had ended. The AP's Chris Tomlinson nods to a constitutional challenge being settled by an official computer. Meanwhile, Mike Ward, a reporter for the Austin American-Statesman, says the senate still remains in session while troopers take charge of the protesters:

UPDATE at 11:15 PM: As folks in comments—and the Twitteverse—point out, the Texas legislature's website time record was changed. First it showed a vote after midnight, and then, presto, it showed the vote occurred before midnight. After the jump, video of when the cheering began.

The gallery erupted (and didn't stop screaming) after a female senator who was apparently being ignored by the men in the senate took the floor seeking parliamentary order. She asked, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues in the room?" Then everyone went nuts:


Comments (27) RSS

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What a stupid ways to make laws. I'm 100% pro-choice, but wow...For an experiment can we switch one state to the parliamentary system and just see what happens?
Posted by j2patter on June 25, 2013 at 11:02 PM · Report this
Texas senate online system shows vote took place after midnight.…
Posted by mtn335 on June 25, 2013 at 11:02 PM · Report this
@2 Nah, looks like they "corrected" the timestamp to show that they voted before midnight.…

Posted by Ruke on June 25, 2013 at 11:13 PM · Report this
seandr 4
Perhaps laws like this will cause Texans to finally WAKE THE FUCK UP. They do have women, daughters, etc. in Texas, right?
Posted by seandr on June 25, 2013 at 11:17 PM · Report this
Posted by scary tyler moore on June 25, 2013 at 11:19 PM · Report this
@4, of course they do, but women aren't important enough to choose what happens to their own bodies. That's what men are for.
Posted by sarah70 on June 25, 2013 at 11:34 PM · Report this
What a crazy night. Too bad you all missed most of it!
Posted by stating the obvious on June 25, 2013 at 11:35 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 8
Oh, Texas...

You never stop reminding me why I live somewhere else. What a crazy shithole.
Posted by Reverse Polarity on June 25, 2013 at 11:49 PM · Report this
schmacky 9
My fervent hope is that this pathetic charade has at least shown in stark relief--AGAIN--that the Republican party in this country is mostly comprised of hillbillies, fascists, idiots, liars and absolute, incontrovertible assholes.
Posted by schmacky on June 25, 2013 at 11:49 PM · Report this
The last couple of hours of that session was a goddamn farce. They were completely ignoring the rules; the time stamp part at the end was just the cherry on top. Why? Because they are white men and they wanted it real bad, and rules are for girls and minorities.
Posted by JenV on June 25, 2013 at 11:50 PM · Report this
Stacy in Austin 11
@4 you may have noticed that the nice lady speaking against the bill was a Texas woman. And there were several hundred other Texans cheering her on. Don't assume we're all sleeping down here.
Posted by Stacy in Austin on June 25, 2013 at 11:51 PM · Report this
venomlash 12
It's pretty clear that the vote happened after midnight. SB05 is a pumpkin!
Posted by venomlash on June 25, 2013 at 11:54 PM · Report this
wisepunk 13
Huh, was a felony committed?…

Class c felony?
Posted by wisepunk on June 26, 2013 at 12:09 AM · Report this
venomlash 14
@13: Class A misdemeanor if no intent to harm or defraud, state jail felony otherwise I think.
Posted by venomlash on June 26, 2013 at 12:18 AM · Report this
It's dead. Davis is addressing the crowd.
Posted by Phil M on June 26, 2013 at 12:22 AM · Report this
venomlash 17
Apparently it's been declared dead!
Posted by venomlash on June 26, 2013 at 12:23 AM · Report this
@17 See you in special session!
Posted by Ruke on June 26, 2013 at 12:28 AM · Report this
So, it's totally cool to use the fillibuster now? Personally I think there should be no fillibuster. I don't care what the issue is. I think the fact is that most Texan citizens - not to mention most their elected representatives - oppose abortion on any level. If they're not afforded the right of self-determination, what kind of democracy do we have?

Or are you the type of "progressive" who only supports democracy-in-my-favor?
Posted by fetish on June 26, 2013 at 5:40 AM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 21
Texas wants to save bundles of cells now so they can eventually kill them in prison a couple of decades later.

More fun that way I suppose.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on June 26, 2013 at 5:48 AM · Report this

Abortion is the law of the land and is constitutional. Why do a few politicians get to tell women that they must give birth under all circumstances? Why aren't Texan women allowed to exercise their right to abortions? What happened to small government?
Posted by Patricia Kayden on June 26, 2013 at 6:01 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 24
@ 20, I support this old-fashioned, speak-until-you-drop filibuster, where real, concerted effort must be made in order for the minority to stand up to the tyranny of the majority, as we have here. What they call "filibuster" in DC is a tool for abuse and obstruction, and isn't the same thing.

You have any questions about that?
Posted by Matt from Denver on June 26, 2013 at 7:43 AM · Report this
@20: The state doesn't have the "right to self-determination' over the bodies of the women living within it. The only people who should ever ever EVER be involved in the abortion "debate" are the woman in question and her doctor. Butt your ugly nose out, thanks.
Posted by treehugger on June 26, 2013 at 8:07 AM · Report this
Posted by treehugger on June 26, 2013 at 8:08 AM · Report this

Says the Anonymous Coward...
Posted by COMTE on June 26, 2013 at 9:11 AM · Report this
Pridge Wessea 28
@24 - I do too and Reid should be forcing that to happen. MAKE THE OLD FUCKERS STAND UP THERE AND SPEAK.
Posted by Pridge Wessea on June 26, 2013 at 9:31 AM · Report this
@25 sure they do. it's a representative democracy. women vote.

W/R/T "butting [my] ugly nose out", I don't see you as having any extra right to pontificate on the plight of women in Texas as I do. Butt your own nose out while you're at it. If you think abortion is a human right, pursue that agenda - any bill coming to vote in the Texas assembly has no bearing on that.
Posted by fetish on June 26, 2013 at 10:20 AM · Report this
@22 I'm no small-government cheerleader.

SCOTUS: "State regulation protective of fetal life after viability thus has both logical and biological justifications. If the State is interested in protecting fetal life after viability, it may go so far as to proscribe abortion during that period"
Posted by fetish on June 26, 2013 at 10:24 AM · Report this

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