The Texas abortion bill, SB5, failed to pass the state senate on Tuesday night. While reports have said that a vote on the bill did take place, Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst confirmed early Wednesday morning that the bill was dead.
The legislation’s debate was marked by a filibuster launched by Senator Wendy Davis, a Democrat, who wore pink tennis shoes and prepared for the long haul on Tuesday.
While her filibuster failed to make it to midnight after she received three strikes, the watching crowd chanted and cheered until after midnight. The noise interrupted the proceedings on the floor, causing the vote on SB5 to happen after the midnight deadline.
If it had passed, the bill would have required sweeping changes in how abortion services work in Texas. In effect, the bill would have closed about 80 percent of the abortion clinics currently operating in the nation’s second most populous state.
While the Texas senate session was scheduled to end at midnight, confusion reigned for three hours over what had actually happened. News organizations, including the Associated Press, announced that SB5 passed in Texas, despite Davis’ filibuster and what some users on Twitter called the peoples’ filibuster.
However, no official confirmation was given on the bill’s status until 3:03 am EDT. At that time, Lt. Governor Dewhurst announced that, while the bill had passed, it was too late. While the abortion services bill was declared dead early Wednesday morning, it remains to be seen whether Texas Governor Rick Perry will call another special session to vote on SB5 again.
Until then, Democrats and pro-choicers declared a momentary victory. On Twitter, Planned Parenthood Federation Of America president Cecile Richards wrote, “We have started something here that they cannot stop.” A tweet from @YourAnonLive also chimed in, saying, “The citizens overrode the Texas Senate with their voices. Tonight we proved who really has the power.”
Are you happy or disappointed to see the Texas abortion services bill fail in special session on Tuesday night?
[Image via Twitter]