Texas Abortion Law: Governor Perry Calls for Another Special Session
If you're anything like me, and you live for the moments like what we witnessed in Texas through the remarkable spirit of Senator Wendy Davis and her 13 hour filibuster, you've probably been floating around on a little orange cloud humming "The eyes of Texas are upon you" and occasionally scaring your co-workers with random, loud chants of, "The People! United! Will never be defeated!" You probably also destroyed your Twitter feed. Despite CNN's lovely, albeit slightly off kilter, segment on blueberry muffins and the Texas GOP's attempt to completely ignore Senate rules and the little thing we peons like to call "time," the law that would ban abortion after 20 weeks gestation and would result in the closing of clinics across the state, leaving only five out of 47 in the state, was finally dead.
Despite being ruled off the floor due to discussing things that weren't germane to the touchy subject of abortion (ike the budget of Planned Parenthood or discussing the monumental case of Roe v. Wade, because those things aren't relevant at all in GOP dream land, just like time and scary lady parts), when the filibuster ended 10 minutes to midnight, the activists in the rotunda began chanting and yelling, canceling out any proceedings on the floor until midnight struck. They made it the country's first people's filibuster.
Today, amidst the news of the Supreme Court ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Prop 8 were unconstitutional, Texas Governor Rick Perry called for a July 1 special session to address "unfinished business" from the special session that just ended last night. The Governor issued a statement stating, "I am calling the Legislature back into session because too much important work remains undone for the people of Texas. Through their duly elected representatives, the citizens of our state have made crystal clear their priorities for our great state." Uh, yeah, I would say so.
Unfortunately for the Texas GOP, the "undone work" Governor Perry alludes to (aka, intervening in the health decision of a woman and her doctor and passing harmful legislation) will rightly be challenged by the thousands of Texan activists who fought to kill the bill a second time; I reckon they will continue fighting until the GOP, you know, finally gets a hint. If you think Texans who lobbied the Senate for three days and stayed in the Senate rotunda well into the early hours of Wednesday morning are just going to "lie back and take it" the second time around, it might be time to see a doctor about implanting some common sense.
I come from the state to be the first to pass a 20-week abortion ban: good ol' dependable Nebraska. The bill passed at a time when Planned Parenthood of the Heartland had not yet become the force it is today, and unfortunately harmed its first victim, Danielle Deaver, not too long after the law passed. Laws like the one in Nebraska and the one killed in the Texas Senate aren't only harmful, but when late term abortions account for only 1% of abortions, they simply do not make sense.
It won't be easy, but Texan activists know what is at stake (as does the country), and they have the will power and know how to be able to defeat SB5 once again. The palpable energy radiating out of the Senate rotunda touched the country, making even slightly jaded (I DO live in Nebraska, ok?) activists believe in the power of the people. Regardless of what Governor Perry believes to be the "will of the people," the people, in reality, aren't willing to back down from a fight, and nor should they be. Remember: the people, united, will never be defeated.