Senate Bill 5 would have banned abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy and would have shut down about “90 percent of the abortion clinics”. The stalling of this bill is a huge success and step for pro-choice advocates. However, the slaying of the bill came with staunch criticism from certain GOP members.
During the filibuster, hundreds of pro-choice supporters gathered in and around the Texas State Senate and gave jeers to Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst when he struck Davis’s discussion of ultrasound testing as off-topic. Dewhurst also gave Davis an off-topic strike when she requested a back-brace to curb discomfort from standing for a near 11 hours. After the vote was taken and the bill died, Dewhurst called the protesters “an unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics.”
As if that wasn’t bad enough, around 11 o’clock on the night of the filibuster, Texas state Sen. Bill Zedler (R) posted on his Twitter that “We had terrorist in the Texas State Senate opposing SB 5.” Apparently, to Zedler, invoking the first amendment right to assemble is an act of terrorism. If the protesters were pro-life, these “terrorists” would, assuredly, automatically turn into “patriots” for him. Not only are Republicans sore about the loss, they are ever-persistent.
Texas. Gov. Rick Perry has called another special session in attempts to get the bill passed despite the fair loss doled out to anti-abortion Republicans. This session is scheduled for July 1 and Perry is going to use it as a platform to press Texas lawmakers to “act on the abortion proposals.” He even stooped so low as to take a shot at Davis, who was once a teenage mother, saying “It is just unfortunate that she [Davis] hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential.”
If politicians like Wendy Davis, and their supporters, remain steadfast in their track for pro-choice legislation, it could prove to be another loss to Republicans who throw around the word “terrorist” and try to demean people for exercising their right to assemble.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.