Thank You, Texas Senator Wendy Davis! #SB5 is Dead

Cecile Richards

President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund

Some Amazing News Out of Texas

Posted: 06/26/2013 10:08 am

You can practically hear the shouts this morning as folks all over the country wake up to – I can’t believe I get to write this – some amazing news out of Texas.

The final hours of the fight against one of the most extreme anti-abortion laws in the country ended the way it all began: with a citizens’ filibuster – albeit somewhat less official.

For eleven hours, State Senator Wendy Davis led a marathon filibuster while the whole nation watched. Opponents of women’s health did everything they could to push her aside, and she held her ground to block a bill that could have shut down 37 of Texas’ 42 providers of safe and legal abortion.

When some politicians finally used legislative maneuvers to stop her, the crowd took over. For more than 15 minutes, supporters who had packed into the capitol screamed, cheered, and chanted to bring the Senate to a halt. I was standing on the Senate floor, and I can tell you that the sound of democracy was nearly deafening.

Even Lt. Governor David Dewhurst was forced to admit that this “unruly mob” was “the most incredible thing” he had ever seen in his life. And as long as I live, I will never forget the moment I was lucky enough to stand in the capitol rotunda and read a text message from Senator Davis:

“I love you guys. The Lt Gov has agreed – #SB5 is dead.”

The fact of the matter is, here in Texas, we’ve started something no one can stop. They lit the fuse in Austin – but the fire is catching all over the country. People don’t want politicians making women’s private medical decisions, cutting off access to lifesaving preventive care or safe and legal abortion – and they absolutely will not stand for it.

A few nights ago, as things were heating up on the ground in Austin, Rachel Maddow asked: “Texas – who knew?”

We knew.

And we did it.