Despite the Associated Press prematurely reporting to the contrary, Senator Wendy Davis meets with reporters in the rotunda of the state capitol and officially announces that SB5 is dead. The crowd is still cheering.
Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, says the bill passed at 12:02 a.m.
“It’s pretty conclusive that it didn’t pass,” said Whitmire.
Texas Republicans claim that they passed new abortion restrictions expected to close almost every abortion clinic in state, despite a dramatic, 10-hour filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth).
The Republican-controlled Senate voted for the bill after midnight, which is in violation of the rules, while protesters screamed and booed from the gallery. Reporters noted that the vote began after midnight, as well; but Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst insisted that it began at 11:59 P.M.
Dewhurst claimed that Davis violated the rules, and that is why the filibuster was stopped. The crowd erupted at the decision.
According to Think Progress, Bill “SB 5 combines several egregious attacks on women’s reproductive freedom into one measure — all separate provisions that failed to advance during Texas’ regular session. If enacted, it would criminalize abortions after 20 weeks and impose harsh restrictions on abortion clinics that would force 90 percent of them to close their doors. Because of the size and population of Texas, women’s health advocates argue that leaving the state with just a handful of abortion providers would be tantamount to banning abortion altogether. Furthermore, the majority of Texas voters don’t support SB 5, and would prefer that their lawmakers don’t focus on abortion during the special session.”
Davis was not allowed to drink, sit, eat, lean or go to the bathroom for 13-hours for the filibuster to successful.
History continued to be made when state Sen. Leticia Van De Putte (D-San Antonio), was informed she wouldn’t be recognized because the body had moved onto a new motion.
“Mr. President, parliamentary inquiry,” she said on the Senate floor. “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?”
The crowd erupted again and continued well past the close of the session.