Texas GOP Passes Draconian Anti-Abortion Law Despite Fierce Filibuster In Pink Sneakers (VIDEO)

Democratic lawmaker Wendy Davis wore pink tennis sneakers while delivering a filibuster to delay voting on draconian anti-choice legislation.

‘All’ she had to do to prevent this anti-abortion law from passing was stand up and speak for 13 hours straight without sitting, peeing, or taking a break. Photo of Democratic Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis’ feet, clad in pink sneakers, from the Texas Tribune.

How would you feel if the only thing standing between you and some really nasty, overly restrictive anti-abortion legislation was a pretty, slight blonde woman clad in pink tennis sneakers? That’s how a lot of women in Texas must have felt when State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth) launched her filibuster Tuesday to delay the vote and likely passage of ¬†Senate Bill 5. Davis vehemently opposed the legislation and took her stand at 11:18 a.m. CT — while wearing those comfortable pink tennis sneakers in anticipation of standing for a long, long time. The Austin, TX legislature’s session ended Tuesday at midnight. “All” Davis had to do was stand up and speak for 13 hours straight about the anti-abortion legislation without sitting, taking a break, or straying from her topic, and the bill would die until the state legislature reconvened. Unfortunately, that proved to be a tall order. Especially with eagle-eyed GOP martinets out for blood and keeping an eye out for the slightest possible infraction of Senate rules.

Democratic Texas State Senator Wendy Davis put up a good fight while filibustering a draconian anti-abortion bill.

Give ’em heck, Wendy! Photo from the Christian Science Monitor.

According to the Texas Tribune‘s explanation of the rules in Texas’ state senate, spotting infractions of filibuster rules is like shooting fish in a barrel:

During a filibuster, a senator is limited to topics relevant to the bill being discussed and cannot eat, drink or use the restroom during the speech. The rules also prohibit sitting or leaning on a desk or chair under any circumstances when the senator has the floor and is speaking on the bill or resolution.

Filibusters end either when the senator voluntarily yields the floor or after three violations of the rules for decorum and debate. After the third violation, the Senate can vote on a point of order, which if sustained would force the senator to yield the floor, according to the Legislative Reference Library of Texas website.

First Davis got busted when a Democratic colleague attempted to help her into a back brace. Apparently, Texans expect filibustering Senators to suck it up and deal with any discomforts. Then, she got snagged for supposedly going off-topic — apparently sonograms have nothing to do with abortions. Democrats fought tooth and nail to reinstate Davis’ filibuster each time Republicans found excuses to derail her, but by the time midnight rolled around, Texas’ GOP had broken Davis’ filibuster and voted to pass their controversial abortion legislation. Jim Vertuno And Chris Tomlinson reported from Associated Press late last night that Texas’ GOP had passed the new restrictions on abortions which are “expected to close almost every abortion clinic in the nation’s second most populous state”:

The Republican-controlled Senate voted for the bill while hundreds of protesters screamed from the gallery […]

The bill bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and requires that all procedures take place in a surgical center.

Doctors who perform abortions would also need admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. The surgical center requirement would shut down 37 of Texas’ 42 abortion clinics.

Some claim that the law wasn’t actually passed until a few minutes after midnight — which could technically make it invalid. But that’s not likely to fly.

Davis had tweeted her intention to filibuster and oppose the anti-abortion legislation earlier, and got a boost when President Barack Obama posted a tweet in support of the state senator’s efforts.

The leadership may not want to listen to TX women. But they will have to listen to me. I intend to filibuster this bill. #SB5 #txlege

‘The leadership may not want to listen to TX women. But they will have to listen to me. I intend to filibuster this bill. #SB5 #txlege’ From Texas Senator (D-Fort Worth) Wendy Davis’ Twitter feed.

Thanks to Obama, “her Twitter following went from 1,200 in the morning to more than 20,000 by Tuesday night.” Young and Tomlinson also¬† reported earlier that hundreds lined up outside of the Senate chamber to support Davis while loudly chanting, “Let her speak!”

Here’s the video:

Let’s hope Texas Republicans have overstepped this time, and will pay the price in 2014.

June 26th UPDATE — Good News!: Manny Fernandez and Eric Eckholm from The New York Times reported this morning that sure enough — and just as this writer had hoped — the anti-abortion law was “rendered moot” because the Texas Republicans did overreach, and did not follow proper legislative procedures. Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’ 10-hour filibuster succeeded in running out the clock and holding back SB 5 … for now.