Sen. Wendy Davis led the 13-hour effort of Texas Democrats Tuesday to filibuster Texas SB 5, a bill that would virtually ban abortion in the state, while Twitter users everywhere showed their support with messages marked #StandWithWendy.
After speaking for nearly 11 hours herself, Davis' filibuster in Austin was suspended after she strayed from the topic and put on a back brace, but her efforts helped effectively kill Texas SB 5. Senators will sometimes filibuster, or stand and speak continually without stopping for bathroom breaks or meals and without leaning on anything for support, in an effort to block or delay voting on a measure.
"My back hurts. I don't have a lot of words left,"
Davis, 50, told reporters after the filibuster ended. "It shows the determination and spirit of Texas women."
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If passed, Texas SB 5 would virtually outlaw abortion in the state. It would force the closure of almost every abortion clinic, ban abortions after 20 weeks, require all abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles, and stipulate that all abortion clinics qualify as ambulatory surgical centers.
Though Davis' filibuster prevented a vote on the measure, effectively killing it, Texas SB 5 could still go into effect if Republican Gov. Rick Perry, a strong opponent of abortion, calls the legislature into a special session.
Davis' efforts drew praise from women, celebrities, and even President Barack Obama, who all spoke out on Twitter with their own #StandWithWendy messages.
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