State Senator Wendy Davis put on a marathon filibuster in the Texas state house Tuesday (June 25) in an attempt to block SB5, a bill that would make abortion clinic requirements in Texas so stringent that it would force all but five in the state to close.
The filibuster ended two hours shy of midnight, the constitutionally-mandated end to the legislative session, after strict rule interpretations by Republican senators and three rules of order finally stopped her, including speaking about a sonogram bill, which the Republicans deemed not “germane” to the filibuster.
A near-riot followed in the state house, with chaos erupting from the gallery as the clock ticked down to midnight and no vote had been completed on the bill. Republicans have admitted that SB5 did not get passed in time.
But one Republican went a step further and tweeted that this was an act of terrorism.
“We had terrorist in the Texas State Senate opposing SB 5,” writes state Senator Bill Zedler. He adds, “The pro-abortion crowd turned The Texas Senate chamber ‘Occupy Wall Street'” and “Disruptive behavior of pro-abortion crowd was encouraged by some Texas House Democrats.”
President Obama, however, had a different message, writing on Twitter, “Something special is happening in Austin tonight. #StandWithWendy.”
He was not alone. Tens of thousands of people were watching the live stream on YouTube — no 24-hour cable news channel was covering the filibuster, despite having hours to prepare, since Wendy started at 11 a.m. — and thousands more were following along on Twitter, including actress Martha Plimpton, who was pointing out that while chaos reigned supreme in the Texas state house, CNN was covering 350-calorie muffins.
Some of the highlights included:
Man of Steel? Iron Man? Wimps compared to Republican-battlin’ filibuster superheroine @WendyDavisTexas — Kevin Smith
Wendy Davis couldn’t eat, drink, sit down, lean, pee, or stop talking because RULES ARE RULES, but you can call a vote after midnight? — Emily Dawn
And people ask what twitter is for…..it’s for when THE NEWS DOESN’T REPORT THE NEWS…I mean…. — Natalie Eshaya
Catching up on what’s been happening in Texas. Unbelievable. I doff my cap to Wendy Davis and send support from the UK — Kate Graham
I’ve been away from the news all day and am just catching up on this Wendy Davis story. I am in awe of this woman. I #StandWithWendy! — Jesse Tyler Ferguson
RT @jairuskhan: I had a browser window open before they edited the vote timestamp. Old on right, new on left. #sb5 — Danica McKellar
RT @AIsForOrg: Senator Wendy Davis is STILL STANDING. #SB5 / The woman is awesome. — Martha Plimpton