Texas is all geared to pass its 20-week abortion ban today — the same bill that state Sen. Wendy Davis successfully filibustered by standing and speaking for just under 13 hours last month. This time there's nothing she can do to stop it. The state's Senate leader, Lt. Gov. David Dewherst, has scheduled a vote on Friday, and the Republican majority is sure to pass the measure, which would not only enact a 20-week ban on abortion that opposes the precedent set in Roe v. Wade, but also would, under a mandate that abortion clinics have the same standards as surgical centers, shutter 37 of the state's 42 clinics. According to Reuters, if it doesn't pass today, lawmakers would vote on Saturday morning. The move would severely restrict access to abortions for all Texas women.
"We're going to have strict enforcement. If there are any demonstrations, we are going to clear the gallery," Dewhurst told reporters on Thursday, adding that there was going to be more of a police presence on Friday to deter protesters from acting unruly even though a filibuster would not be humanly possible — lawmakers would have talk and suppress their biological functions until the end of the month."This is a democracy and we will not be interrupted from doing the people's work by an unruly mob," he said.
Dewhurst's choice of words are a bit odd in that the "unruly mob" that he's trying to keep out are women (and their allies) who are going to be directly affected by the "people's work" he and his cohorts are doing. Last month those protesters assisted state senator and rising Democratic star Wendy Davis in her midnight filibuster of the bill. Out of that, a successful "Stand with Texas Women" bus tour, movement and rallying cry, was born. Davis herself knows that the legislative battle is done, but the national attention she helped spark is far from over. "I think it is, [done]" Davis told Dallas-Forth's ABC affiliate, referring to Friday's vote. "I do believe it will immediately be followed by legal action to [prevent] the enforcement of the law."
Photo via: Stand With Texas Women Facebook
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.