Meet The Real-Life Leslie Knope Who Fought The Good Fight And Lost Tonight
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Meet The Real-Life Leslie Knope Who Fought The Good Fight And Lost Tonight

By Joanna Robinson | Miscellaneous | June 26, 2013 | Comments ()

Wendy .png

After an eleven- hour filibuster that would put Jimmy Stewart to shame, Senator Wendy Davis lost her fight against the Texas State Senate tonight. In a gut-wrenching (and arguably rule-breaking move) the Senate voted just after midnight to pass Senate Bill 5 which would, among other things, prohibit most abortions after 20 weeks and require clinics to meet the standards of ambulatory surgery centers. These new strictures would require all but 5 of the 42 Texan aboriton clinics to close their doors. To see the full reach of the Bill, you can check out The Daily Beast's troubling, interactive map.

As of the publication of this piece it remains unclear whether or not the State Senate's vote on SB 5 was conducted before midnight. If it's proven the voting was done after the 12:00am deadline, then it's invalidated. But no matter what the outcome, I think it's important that we take a moment to applaud this woman, Wendy Davis, for her strength and commitment to a cause. It's rare and it's stirring. And because we're a pop culture website, I'll put it in words we can all readily relate to.

UPDATE: Lt. Governor Dewhurst officially announces that the 12:03 AM time stamp is valid and that SB5 missed the midnight deadline. LOUD NOISES.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Clancys_Daddy

    According to what I have read today the vote did not take place until after midnight, automatically killing the bill. So may I politely say fuck the legislatures who did vote for it even if it didn't pass.

  • Slash

    Also, what needs to happen is that more younger people and especially more younger women (who would be affected most by these bullshit laws) need to vote in Texas (and everywhere else). They need to vote in every election. Not just the big one that happens every 4 years. They need to care about this shit all the time, not just when Beyonce tells them to. Obama is not the Great and Powerful Oz, he can't fix shit at the state level. Only voters can do that.

    All 31 Senate seats were up for election in 2012 in the Texas state legislature. The turnout for the Democratic primary in that year was less than 5% (it was 4.52%). Turnout for the Republicans in that primary was 11%. Still shitty, but twice as much as the Democrats managed. So the legislature is regularly selected by about 10% of the population. Guess what types of people I see voting in these elections? When I vote in the non-presidential elections, I never have to stand in line and the poor, old (they're mostly older people) people manning the election location usually comment on how slow it's been. When I voted in 2012 for Obama, I stood in line for an hour. Where the fuck are all these people when we're voting for the people who most directly affect their lives?

    State politics matter. You may think it's boring, but it's boring shit like this that results in laws that affect your lives in significant, life-changing ways.

    If you only vote every 4 years in November, you're part of the problem. Dicking around on Facebook and Twitter doesn't mean anything when your old, white, Jesusy neighbors are packing the state legislature with woman-hating religious nutjobs.

  • Slash

    Yeah, Texas is run by a bunch of assholes.

    But we're not all like that down here. And there are some commie pinkos in Dallas. And Houston. And San Antonio. We're not all money-grubbing Jesus freaks.

  • valerie

    Not to be un-popular, but 20 weeks is 5months pregnant. And thats fucked. I'm not anti-abortion, but I do think the line begins to blur between person/not a person when you put it off for that long.

  • emmalita

    It's already been pointed out that most people who terminate after 20 weeks are terminating wanted pregnancies for good reason. My best friend terminated at 23 weeks because they thought she was going to die if she tried to continue the pregnancy.

  • zeke_the_pig

    happy zeke is happy

  • emilya

    I think Leslie Knope and Tami Taylor would be very proud of Wendy Davis!

  • googergieger

    The Texas GOP last night made me hate this country, the gallery made me love it that much more, and by the time I went to sleep I had no idea how to feel about it. Now with the news that it didn't pass, and that DOMA is dead, pretty great day for good in this country. No offense people that are prolife and pro traditional marriage or what have you.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I tend to think that last night was very significant in the political landscape of this country, but not for the reasons you may think. I'm not of the belief that last night was about Democracy winning the day or anything, in fact I think both sides engaged in dirty pool. But as juvenile as it sounds, the Republicans in the Senate started that shit. What happened after was the Democrats taking the gloves off and refusing to be pushed aside. And yes, the Dems got really dirty in the process. I loved every second of it.

    The GOP didn't know how to deal with it, they were unable to deal with it. And with hundreds of thousands watching, the impact could end up being a game changer. I hope Wendy Davis, Kirk Watson, Leticia Van de Putte, and Royce West become folk heroes in the battle for reproductive justice in this country.

  • googergieger

    To be fair a lot of what the Dems were doing were just trying their hardest to get answers on shit. I mean seriously how on earth was mentioning sonograms off topic? If the back brace had nothing to do with going off topic, where did the three strikes having to do with being off topic come from? And in general, Texas GOP were just totally ignoring rules and just being evil. Look way this shit is set up is pretty tarded, I mean you once had that senator that looks like Tweety Bird's grandmother filibuster his own bill for goodness sakes, but still. If the rules are there you follow them. Not just totally disregard them and do whatever you want the second they don't benefit you.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Oh I know, I completely agree. I said they started it with the points of order that were total bullshit. But you could tell there was a LOT of feet dragging and time wasting after the decision came down on the third point of order.

    I was referring to Kirk and Van Putte , but especially the gallery just saying "no." Essentially they just said this session is not going to continue and they shouted it down. If republicans in the house pulled that on an immigration reform bill I'd be furious.

    The Senate GOP broke more rules than they followed last night.

  • googergieger

    Yeah but I just tend to hate when people take the, "both sides were wrong" route. Kind of like when people go, "agree to disagree". Essentially giving validity to both arguments. Texas GOP didn't play by the rules, and the Dems did. That is what happened. You can say it was a cheap tactic the Dems pulled, but they didn't lie, throw the rules out the window, and just act evil.

  • lowercase_ryan

    I wasn't trying to label the Dems as being in the wrong, just that they got down into the muck. Something that, frankly, I think surprised the Reps. Make no mistake about it, the Dem Senators played it by the book (a book they had a disturbingly better understanding of than their counterparts) and won the day. But it got ugly and the gallery couldn't take any more.

    still, if it had been the other way around I'd have been pissed.

  • Georgia

    Thought I'd offer a different perspective, in the interest of reaching out. I'm really sad about the defeat of this bill. I'm strongly pro-life and anti-abortion. I have 4 children, one of whom I risked my life to carry and give birth to. I don't hate women or freedom. I truly believe with all my heart and soul that life begins at conception. I think that every baby is a precious, beautiful gift from G-d from the very start. I think that abortion is the snuffing out of a soul and a terrible and tragic mistake. To me, it is murder. That doesn't mean that I'm going to hurl invective or harass women at clinics. I support my beliefs with actions - I donate to food banks, diaper drives (please do this as often as you can - diapers are needed more than food in a lot of places), and women's shelters. I volunteer with the March of Dimes. I've been a volunteer lobbyist for women's and children's health for the past 7 years (and we've met our goals for expanding FAMIS and Medicare benefits eligibility each year - yay). I recently started training for the CASA program.

    I am also the mother of a special needs child. Babies are being murdered because they're not perfect and it tears me up inside to think that there are people out there who think that it would be okay if I had chosen to kill my beautiful daughter - people who don't think her life is worth protecting. I think it's a slippery slope from killing babies who have markers for Down's Syndrome to killing babies who aren't the preferred sex.

    And I happen to think that all clinics, public and private, should be subject to strict oversight. I don't exactly understand why supporters of abortion would be opposed to that? A 20+ week abortion is not a D&C. It should be performed by a licensed, insured MD in a safe and sterile facility.

  • googergieger

    So how do you feel about miscarriages?

  • emmalita

    You had a choice, and you are happy with choice you made, and I am happy for you. People filter their choices through a variety of different lenses: culture, religion, socio-economics, experience, and individual brain chemistry. I am pro-choice because what is right for me, is not necessarily right for another person. Things that seem like good ideas to me, are not to someone else.

    I hate the fetus with illness or disabilities argument because I think it stigmatizes kids with illness or disability, and I think it cheapens the basic premise that whether to carry a pregnancy to term is a choice individuals and/or couples need to make for themselves.

    You see a slippery slope of genetic and gender selection. I see a slippery slope of people being forced to carry unwanted children or dangerous pregnancies to term. Both are legitimate fears. I err on the side of choice, because it think there are fewer evils in people making decisions for themselves than in a government or organization making decisions for us.

  • NateMan

    Clinics are subject to strict oversight already. And when clinics aren't safe and aren't sterile, they get shut down very quickly. As others have said, this wasn't about making sure clinics were safe. It was about putting controls far more stringent than necessary on facilities offering what is essentially an out-patient procedure in order to stop them from doing what supporters of the bill see as immoral actions Which, incidentally, includes not only abortion but offering safe sex materials such as education and birth control as well. If this was really about making sure women were safe, they'd be offering more funds for these facilities, particularly because of their easy access to birth control and sexual education, which have been repeatedly shown to reduce the number of abortions and unwanted pregnancies. Instead, they're determined to shut them down.

    Look, if you're pro-life, that's fine and dandy for you, and I wouldn't bother to try and change your mind. Don't have an abortion; it's no skin off my nose. But any time you refer to abortion as 'baby murder', you lose the right have a rational argument on the subject. If terminating a pregnancy is murder, than it's at least manslaughter every time a woman has a miscarriage, particularly if it's because she drank/smoked/engaged in some activity she shouldn't have while pregnant. Anywhere from 10-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, typically because of nothing the mother has control over. That's about how many end in abortion also. If it's murder when a doctor does it, what do you call it when 'God' ends that soul's life?

    By the way; I believe life begins at conception too. I believe every fetus has the potential to grow into an amazing human being. I still agreed with my ex's decision to terminate her pregnancy because neither of us were ready to be parents, because our relationship was unstable, and because her lupus made it very likely she'd have very serious complications during her pregnancy that could quite likely have been life-threatening for both her and the child. I'm sorry it needed to be done, and I'll regret it every day of my life. I have a much better understanding of these issues than someone who chooses to call what my then-wife and I went through murder.

    And as for your anguish over the notion of women terminating their pregnancies because they don't want to raise a special needs child... Look, I'm very glad for you that you carried your pregnancy through to term, and gave birth to a beautiful and loving daughter who, despite her issues, is obviously a very important and giving part of your life. Truly. I think it's amazing, and I applaud you for doing so.

    I wouldn't have made that decision. Neither would my wife. Since she was over 35 at the time of conception, it's something we discussed at length. We have neither the financial or emotional capabilities to add that much stress to our lives.We had a beautiful little girl too, who I will cherish every day of our lives, but if she wasn't going to be what we consider 'healthy', we would have terminated, and grieved over it for a very, very long time. And that needs to be okay for us. Because there are times rationality has to win, for some people, over emotion. Maybe that's not you, and more power to ya. But that's me, and that's my wife. And no one - not you, not the government, not a doctor, not any God - has the right to try and make us feel guilty over that.

    If my daughter ever decides she needs an abortion, be it because of rape or the failure of birth control or fetal complications or simply because it's not the right time and place for her to have a child, I will move heaven and earth to make it happen. I will walk through legislatures, protesters, the law and the Gods themselves to make it happen. I will grieve with her over the loss and tell her it's okay, that she made the best decision for herself, and sometimes that's what it takes to be a responsible adult. And no one will get in my way. At least not for long.

    Again, I respect your right to your opinion, and I hope very much you and your kids are never put in a situation where abortion is the only or best solution. But as long as there are girls and women out there who need this procedure, whose lives we can't hope to comprehend, I'm going to fight like hell to make sure that option remains open to them.

  • Georgia

    I appreciate your thoughtfulness in answering. It's not my intention to make anyone who has had an abortion feel guilty. I know the word "murder" is strong and upsetting, but I can't use another one. I, personally, use it in this context to connote willfulness, not evilness. To me, abortion is willful killing because I feel that a baby is alive at the moment of conception. I do think that a miscarriage is a death and should be treated as such. One of the jobs that I do as a volunteer is to support moms who have had fetal demises in the NICU or stillbirths in the perinatal ICU.

    I am also in favor of providing education and birth control to women. My goal is always to prevent unwanted pregnancies from occurring in the first place.

    I should note that I think there are instances where murder is acceptable and, in fact, required. There is no question in an extreme case such as the rape of a child that results in a pregnancy, for example, that abortion is necessary.

    Where you and I part ways completely is over the issue of aborting special needs children. I don't think you understand how shattering it is for me as a mom to read what you wrote. The notion that my child is an emotional and financial burden for a family hurts me. She's not a tribulation that we endure, she's a blessing, regardless of her limitations. Try to imagine how it feels for parents of special needs children to know that people are thinking, "Thank goodness I'm not her parent," when they look at your child. And your suggestion that aborting a special needs child is rational is really scary for me - the implication being that my child is so unworthy of life that allowing her to be born was irrational.

  • NateMan

    Where you and I part ways completely is over the issue of aborting special needs children. I don't think you understand how shattering it is for me as a mom to read what you wrote. The notion that my child is an emotional and financial burden for a family hurts me. She's not a tribulation that we endure, she's a blessing, regardless of her limitations. Try to imagine how it feels for parents of special needs children to know that people are thinking, "Thank goodness I'm not her parent," when they look at your child. And your suggestion that aborting a special needs child is rational is really scary for me - the implication being that my child is so unworthy of life that allowing her to be born was irrational.

    And that's fine - for you. I never said or even suggested that your child is unworthy of life. I said, in fact, quite the opposite. That was your decision, your family, and it doesn't affect me one whit and so I cheer your decision.

    However, raising a child with special needs does cost quite a bit more money. How much more depends on your region and the child's needs, of course, Sometimes it's only a couple thousand. Others, upwards of $10,000 or more every single year on top of the regular financial burden. Married couples with a special needs child, statistically speaking, have at least a 10% higher chance of divorce. Children with Down's, autism, or even deafness are significantly more likely to be emotionally, physically, and sexually abused than 'normal' children. These may not have been reasons for you to get an abortion, and that's fine. Given that our day care costs exceed $9000 a year, and that with our current incomes and expenses we already can't afford to have a second child, they would have been for us. We could afford to have a child that was healthy at birth. We could not afford one that was not, not if we wanted to keep our home, our cars, our jobs. There is of course no guarantee that a child without genetic or physical flaw at birth will remain that way, and that's a risk we chose to take. But we did have the right - and, I'd argue for our situation, responsibility - to limit that risk as much as possible.

    My reasoning does not diminish your choice. The choices my family makes do not affect yours. And I'd never point to anyone with a special needs child and say "You should have gotten an abortion." I'd love to be financially and emotionally secure enough that having a special needs child wouldn't be cause for turmoil, and I think it's great you were. But the addendum to that is no one gets to judge how I choose to create a family either. At least not out loud.

    Your child is not unworthy of life. I don't think anything I said suggested as much, and though I'm sorry if that's the way you took it, I suggest you look past your defensive reaction and look at what I said from an outsider's perspective. In addition to that, any fetus I helped create that had special needs would not be unworthy of life either. However, the simple fact of the matter is I would have quite likely been unable to afford the financial burden of such a child. I also, even after several years of therapy and a lifetime of adjustment to the vagaries of my own brain, suspect I lack the patience to provide the level of parenting a special needs child needs and deserves. It is neither cruel or unreasonable for me or any couple looking to procreate to come to that decision. It's merely reality. We don't always have the luxury of hoping for the best or assuming ourselves capable of grand feats. I looked at the options in the cold light of day and made a judgement call. It's one I'd make again. You'd make a different one. Since we're not a couple, that's perfectly okay.

  • Georgia

    I think you have the best of intentions, but the language you are using *is* a judgment of worth. Raising a special needs child is not a "grand feat" and doesn't require a higher level of parenting. When you write "hoping for the best," that means that my child is not the best and you hope for one who is not like her. Try to look at it from an insider perspective.

    I'm well aware that parents of the statistical obstacles facing special needs parents and children. I would argue that there are factors that affect our families much more than special needs that also shouldn't be impediments to marrying or having children. Poverty and obesity come to mind - they present hardships that lead to higher divorce rates and emotional and financial turmoil. But no one would (or should) suggest that poor or overweight people shouldn't marry or have children that might be poor and overweight themselves.

    FWIW, we prefer the term "typical" to "normal."

  • VohaulsRevenge

    I don't always feel proud to be a Texan, but when I do, it's because of people like Senator Davis.

  • apsutter

    Don't be ashamed...I know a hell of a lot of good people from Texas. And of all the places I've visited it is definitely one of the friendliest. Everyone always made me feel like home and they were excited to tell me the wonderful things I should see and do.

  • Laura

    What's wrong with a clinic needing to meet standards of hygiene and proper procedure? They ARE performing a procedure on the woman to ABORT a child. Remove the fact that it's a child we're murdering here, and let's just focus on the level of filth some of these clinics operate in. No one seems to know much about the Kermit Gosnell case, where he operated in extremely unsanitary conditions, and caused great harm to his patients. Shouldn't we strive to keep women safe?

  • Meg

    If the bill was actually about protecting peoples health and safety, and not about restricting the choices of people with vaginas and denying care, reproductive rights advocates would be it's number one supporters.

    Abortions are actually incredibly safe. 98% of all legal abortions have zero complications and only 0.3% have complications severe enough to warrant hospitalization (1).

    In fact, say you aren't able to get an abortion you wanted. You're actually 14x more likely to suffer severe complications due to your pregnancy and subsequent childbirth than if you'd just had the abortion (2). Now this isn't me saying we should all just stop having children and yay abortions for all. What I'm saying is that it's A FUCKING CHOICE. And it's a choice that every pregnant or potentially pregnant person should be able to make for themselves, after weighting all benefits/risk and their own personal situations and figure out whats right for them, whether it's having an abortion or carrying to term. And they should be able to do it without all the judgement and political posturing from a bunch of old white men in the god damn legislature.

    So all this "but what about the poor wimminz HEALTH" pearl clutching is frankly bullshit. If it was really about health they'd be decrying the fact that the World Health Organization ranks us 50th in the world for maternal mortality and trying to fix THAT.


  • alwaysanswerb

    real citations? MARRY ME!

  • foolsage

    Get in line, pal.

  • pumpkin

    If you were paying attention, you'd see that some of the loudest outrage of Kermit Gosnell's crimes came from the pro-reproductive-rights camp.

    The Texas law that failed had absolutely nothing to do with women's health and safety and everything to do with making it impossible for women to have abortions.

  • emmalita

    It's an excessively high standard. It sounds good politically, but the intended and real impact is that Texas will go from 40 abortion clinics to 5. Neither the Texas Medical Association nor the Texas Hospital Association supported the bill. And those are not raving liberal organizations. It isn't a legitimate pro health and safety issue. In fact, it negatively impacts the health and safety of women. Abortion has been legal in the US for so long that we have forgotten the dangers of the illicit abortion. If abortion were illegal, people would still get abortions, but more if them would die or suffer permanent damage as a result.

  • foolsage

    Correct: women will have abortions whether they're legal or not. The difference between illegal abortions and legal ones are profound though, in terms of the safety of the mother.

    There isn't a meaningful problem with women getting infections or having adverse side effects due to these clinics not meeting the standards of ambulatory surgery clinics. Instead, the problem that Republicans are REALLY trying to solve is quite simple: they don't want women to control their own reproductive systems. The Fundamentaliban is quite convinced that them there parts is God's an' you wimminz gots no rights ta tinker with wut God made.


    Men's bodies, on the other hand, clearly are all ours, because we're made in God's image. And cause Jesus was a dude. It's, like, science.


  • Maguita NYC

    What pisses me off, is that the government is attempting at forcing women to have less access to reproductive healthcare, and more babies, without having to help the mothers take care of those babies.

    If ever there ought to be true justice, law would be taken under reconsideration so that it reflects equality for all genders.

    If the woman is not allowed to abort, the man is not allowed to eschew financial support, FROM THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION.

    Apparently, those pregnancy panties and bras are costly. Nothing to say of food, preparations for baby's arrival, daycare, food, nappies, clothes, food.

    Yes, mommy and unborn child need food that much.

  • Finance_Nerd

    You called it. When Gov Perry speaks on abortion, he says "In TX, we value all life." However, TX is the most fatal of the US's death penalty states w/760 executions since 1920. I don't think Gov Perry
    understands what hypocrisy is/means (probably too big of a word for GWB Lite).

    While I don't have anything against the death penalty (assuming it is used properly and DNA testing confirms the evidence then yes, I do believe some people just need to be removed from the gene pool), you can't really say all life is sacred and set the record on executions.

    When you add in the fact that TX spent $556M on
    child welfare vs $3.3B on prison costs (stats from 2010) you can easily see that everything is bigger in TX (especially hypocrisy). If you're spending 6x on putting/keeping people in prison as keeping them fed/warm so they're not too tired/hungry to get an education to stay out, something has gone horribly fucking wrong.

    Now they want to potentially add in more unwanted children that will probably end up on welfare, poorly educated and fodder for the over-crowded jails? WTF is wrong w/these guys?

    I live in TX and can't wait to see how the 2014 elections turn out. I think a lot of old rich white guys are going to find out that TX is not as conservative as they think. You tell a woman what she can do w/her vagina and the voters are going to tell you to shove that opinion (and your job) up your ass.

  • foolsage

    I'd support such laws, though obviously a far better solution is to continue to allow free and unfettered access to abortion.

  • Maguita NYC

    I believe that is exactly what would happen when faced with the true task of giving equality to all.

  • John W

    Kudos to her.

  • I hope the folks at Parks and Rec add Sen. Davis to Leslie's wall of political heroes.

  • DonnaSaurus

    I am so happy to be able to say that I voted for Wendy Davis!

    The policies pursued by the State Legislature here in Texas have seriously undermined women's health care availability for a large number of women. When I was in college, Planned Parenthood was the only reproductive health care I could afford. I needed contraceptives and my annual testing. If the state leaders have their way, women all over the state and from all walks of life will have a harder time just taking care of them selves.

  • apsutter

    Yup...when I was in college I had a full time job and still wasn't eligible for healthcare so I had to go to Planned Parenthood just for my yearly exam and for birth control. It sucked because the looney tunes protesters we always outside assuming all of us whores were their to kill as many babies as possible when in reality most girls were receiving preventative care.

  • John G.

    This is fantastic, even if it's only fantastic because this kind of strength and leadership is so rare.

  • Heather Mooney

    Watching the people in the gallery scream for ten minutes straight, bringing Wendy Davis's work through midnight had me laughing, screaming and crying all at once. If my over-achieving 14 year old daughter didn't have summer school this morning, I would have had her watching with me as Wendy Davis gave Chuck Norris a lesson in bad-assitude and the gallery showed the world that the people have power. Unfortunately, she would have also seen our Senate ( we live in TX) illegally vote after midnight in a last gasp of impotent rage. Both my daughters will be hearing the tale today, and I will relay it with joy.

  • People in the gallery making so much noise that the vote had to be delayed because noone could hear themselves think sounds less like democracy and more like the roar of the mob.

  • Ed

    Meanwhile, here in Australia, our first female Prime Minister gets booted from office by her own party. So there's that.

  • emmalita

    That sucks. She's one of my heroes. Julia Gillard will rise again!

  • Ed

    I strongly doubt it. Before the ballot, she and her main opponent both vowed to leave politics should they lose. She's out for good.

  • emmalita

    That's sad. The world needs more strong, outspoken women in politics.

  • apsutter

    I'm sorry, I've read a bit about it but am not totally in the loop. Why'd they ditch her?

  • Ed

    It's... kinda complicated.

    The current government is Labor (left wing liberal party) while their opposition is the Liberal National Party (right wing conservatives). Before the last election, Julia Gillard defeated the (then) PM Kevin Rudd in an internal Labor leadership challenge (the leader of the ruling party gets to be PM by default). Many people saw this as her stabbing him in the back. In the following election, her party more-or-less won by a narrow margin (involving support from several key independent representatives) and her policy stances changed on a few things. She also pushed for the introduction of a carbon tax (which was implemented successfully).

    Since most of the mainstream media in Australia is firmly in the pocket of conservative-friendly magnates like Rupert Murdoch, there has been a drawn-out campaign of smear tactics against her, playing on the deep undercurrent of racism and misogyny prevalent in this country. An incredible (and largely unearned) spirit of ill will has been cultivated against her; she is regularly called "JuLIAR" in mainstream newspapers and the conservative (LNP) party leader Tony Abbott (a disturbing religious zealot and general nutter) has managed to gain a ridiculous approval rating despite having no clear policy beyond "stopping the boats" (illegally turning away sea-based asylum seekers coming from Indonesia) and basically taking everything the current government says and going "nuh-uh! Labor bad!"

    Eventually, it got too much for the Labor party, who decided after a protracted media campaign of questioning Gillard's leadership that they had no chance of winning the upcoming election with Gillard as their leader, and voted the man she initially replaced, Kevin Rudd, back into power tonight.

    TL;DR: A decent politician is shafted because people are dumb, Australia is thoroughly sick of political bullshit, we're about to vote in a TOTAL medieval-era god-bothering fuckwit in September, and we have nobody to blame but ourselves.

  • Caitlin_G

    Proud of my state, my party and Wendy Davis. Hated having to go to bed without knowing if the vote had been legal. It's not over yet if perry calls another special session but its a win for now!

  • apsutter

    Ugh...Rick Perry is such a fucking asshole

  • Maguita NYC

    I can only upvote you once, but really, count this as a million times.

    How he was elected is beyond me. There has to be a minimum understanding of the Constitution for one to be voted into the US political arena, and most specifically, they must understand the literal definition of Separation of Church and State.

  • VohaulsRevenge

    I prefer the calling him "The Dubya Understudy" myself.

  • emmelemm

    That's kinda genius, actually.

  • AudioSuede

    I literally slept through this whole story, but it's an amazing and uplifting thing to see upon waking. After a tumultuous week of politics, it's inspiring to see someone so passionate stand for what's right.

  • MrsAtaxxia

    Because YES.

  • JoannaRobinson

    Aw I LOVE this. I only wish the House Generator had a sneaker icon because, man, she had the best kicks.

  • emmalita

    This picture is the Facebook profile pic of several of my friends this morning.

  • MrsAtaxxia

    I know! But hey, at least they got the color right.

  • lowercase_see

    Bless you, Wendy Davis. Bless you and all your supporters and all the good you do. They can't write us off yet.

    Don't mess with Texas women.

  • apsutter

    All I know is that I'll be avoiding yahoo news today. That place is a cesspool of the lowest order and full of the dumbest people you'd ever have the displeasure of meeting. Mouth breathing idiots (almost) every last one of them.

  • Yugo

    I understand that there is a certain leaning on this website with regards to abortion rights, but please remember that not every one of your readers is 'pro-choice'. Some, in fact a lot, may be happy that the rights of 20-week-plus unborn children are being protected.

    In terms of this debate, there is no doubt that the ruling was fishy. It wasn't good democratic practice, and the democrat in me is pleased to see that it's being overturned, for now.

  • lowercase_see

    You do realize that when fetuses are aborted after 20 weeks, it's because it either won't live or it will kill the woman it's growing inside, right? That post-20-week abortions are there for the life and health of actual, real-live, breathing, dreaming women? Or that she waited so long because abortion had been made so inaccessible by a group of extremist fundamentalists that she couldn't get there any sooner? When post-20-week abortion is banned, it doesn't stop—it just kills more women.

  • $2786243

    This can't be emphasized enough. So many late-term abortions are of *wanted* pregnancies that sadly *aren't viable*. The parents are already devastated. I can't imagine dealing with that kind of grief and then having a bunch of judgmental assholes lining up to shame you on top of it.

  • apsutter

    I understand that many people were rooting for it to pass but this bill was about so much more than just abortion. The larger issue is that almost every single clinic in TX would have to close because they don't meet the ambulatory standards set forth in said bill. This would effect hundreds of thousands of women across the state who are then unable to receive basic gynecological care. It sickens me to think of the women who would be unable to receive exams, birth control, std testing, sonogram etc etc because of a law like this.

  • wonkeythemonkey

    If the clinics are primarily concerned with basic gynecological care, would they be able to keep their doors open under the (defeated?) law as long as they stopped performing abortions?

  • Mrcreosote

    If they have to meet ambulatory care requirements there would have to be extensive modifications of the facilities.

  • apsutter

    Hmmmmm...actually you raise a good point here too. I wonder if it has anything to do with being connected to the name Planned Parenthood. Part of me thinks this is just an elaborate ruse so that the state can just stop funding women's gynecological healthcare all together.

  • emmalita

    It's a tactic other states have used to shut down abortion clinics and women's health clinics. The stated goal is health and safety, the actual goal is anti-choice, whether the name attached is Planned Parnethood or not.

  • apsutter

    It's my understanding that they'd have to close if they don't meet the basic standards. And even if they get up to ambulatory code if they are more than 30 miles from a hospital they'd still have to close.

  • NateMan

    Fantastic. She did a wonderful job, and though it'll come up again, every little victory is important.

  • ferryman

    This is great; I'm so sick and tired of tripping over babies everywhere I go!

  • googergieger

    Utah, huh?

  • NateMan

    Anyone else hear chirping crickets, or is it just me?

  • If only we were all fortunate enough to have a Wendy Davis in our home state. We could sure use her here...

  • rio

    I was going to disagree about her losing because she fucking kicked ass and somebody that shows the world that we wont stand back and look while our rights are taken away can't never loose, no matter what happens, but looks like literally she didnt lose since they just called SB5 dead.

    FUCK YEAH WENDY!!!! Fuck yeah all the people that were cheering in there and whoever got arrested, you all fucking rock!

  • Tinkerville

    Breaking news: They just announced that the bill is dead. Looks like you'll have to change the title of the post, JoRo. Wendy Davis won. ;)

  • Amanda Cotylo

    BOO YAH!

  • csb

    It's being reported that the bill is dead.

  • Oh, it was proved that the vote happened after the deadline. Here's the original timestamp (right) versus the new official timestamp (left) on the vote; the senate session technically ended 6/25/13 and the vote was held 6/26/13.

  • abell

    Hold on, honest question here, is the filibuster now good? For the last six years I've been hearing that the filibuster/cloture requirements are archaic/outmoded/bad. Have we all changed our minds?

  • alwaysanswerb

    This slideshow, I think, did a fantastic job of explaining the 'silent filibuster' that we see in national senate vs. what Wendy Davis did in Texas.

  • knightofbob

    There's a twofold answer to this.

    To put this as neutrally as possible, filibusters are a good thing when they are in favor of the same thing you are in favor of, or at least in favor of the party you identify with when you don't actually have an opinion. Otherwise, a filibuster is at best a stalling tactic but more likely an attempt to subvert your rights.

    The issue in the national senate is that the current filibuster rule involves someone essentially saying, "I declare a filibuster!" then business continues as usual, without considering that bill. This is what most average, yet at least a little informed, people have been complaining about.

    What we're talking about in the Texas case is an old-school, Capra/Stewart-style filibuster. It's an elected representative showing some sort of belief in their vote and their electorate. It's a person putting their very self on the line to prove a point. It's representative of the true intentions of the American Republic: that the rights of the minority should not be subject to the whims of the majority.

  • Amanda Cotylo

    Thank you for that, I was attempting to put together a thoughtful reply and fell asleep.

  • OhHellNo

    I was watching. Believe me, no "unclear" about it. The vote went through after midnight, witnessed by senators, reporters and spectators (and senators interviewed afterward said they were unclear, in all the screaming, about whether they were voting on the bill or one of the many technical points raised to end the filibuster).

    And then the time stamp on the vote was changed on the Texas state senate website.

    Brace yourselves, lawsuits are coming.

  • Amanda Cotylo

    Breaking...if you follow the latest Progressive Democrats of America Facebook link, there is an Occupy guy who is still with the protests on the rotunda claiming that he has a pic/footage of the timestamp being changed...and there is already a protest petition going around about Texas redefining midnight. Sign it, y'all. (Ahem.)


    And friend me, if you'd like. Fantastic to meet fellow sisters in arms. :)

  • Ruthie O

    If you are like me and totally wired from tonight's filibuster, check out Mike Ward's twitter feed. He's giving up to date information about what's happening now, including how the date and time on the records are mysteriously changing to show that the vote took place before midnight-- as if 180,000 weren't clearly watching the vote take place at 12:02.

  • TherecanbeonlyoneAdmin

    I appreciate the sentiment, but this is far to serious for a Parks & Rec reference.

  • Ruthie O

    I would typically agree, but in this case, I saw the Leslie Knope connection as Joanna's preemptive strike against the asshats who will pop in the morning after, whining that "this is a pop culture blog! waaaaaah! Why you talk politics, you commie?"

  • apsutter

    I love the Leslie Knope comparison because that character always makes me want to be a more proactive and better person. And I bet Poehlcat will be happy to see the news this morning

  • NateMan

    Yeah, I mostly agree, but the heart was in the right place.

  • JoannaRobinson

    Gosh I'm glad you fellas were here to instruct me on the seriousness of a woman's right to choose.

  • NateMan

    Now don't get yer knickers in a twist. It wasn't a criticism, at least on my part. It's simply 2 things that don't go together for me. And considering I've been in a relationship that required an abortion for health reasons, I'm quite sure my opinion on the matter is as important as yours, regardless of my gender.

  • koko temur

    Yes it is. Drives me nuts when this regarded as "women issue". By both sexes nonthe less! This is human rights issue, this is democracy issue. However you swing it, limiting the right to be outraged about it to women doesnt advance the agenda much.

  • NateMan

    Don't get me wrong, I definitely understand the impulse. As it's women who have to carry the pregnancy and go thru either an abortion or birth, they get 51% of the decision in my book. And they are so often screwed by the men who impregnate them. But as long as I'm still required to make the pregnancy happen in the first place I get 49% of the discussion and outrage when these rights are infringed.

  • Ruthie O

    Well, both things are true. I agree that abortion is more than just the "women's issue." In fact, transgender men also need access to abortion services from time to time. Also, freedom for our bodies to live as they want to live is a human right.

    That being said, anti-abortion rhetoric is rooted in misogyny, specifically, in a hatred of the woman's body. So while abortion is an issue for everyone, ignoring the fact that anti-abortion zealots target and denigrate women, and ignoring that many women feel personally attacked by anti-abortion rhetoric, prohibits us from seeing the whole picture and launching an effective counter-attack.

  • NateMan

    Oh, it's absolutely misogyny. And hatred of the poor, and xenophobia, and all sorts of other issues too. I've yet to meet an anti-choicer who was really pro-life - as soon as their uterus and health - or that of their wife or daughter - gets involved, religious morality goes out the window in favor of practicality. After all, up to a quarter of women who are 'pro-life' have had abortions. Which of course translates to "It's fine for me, but screw all those lazy\poor\minority women who can't take care of themselves and should be punished for their mistakes."

    What's more, many anti-choicers are against the availability of birth control, and are totally fine with more unwanted babies in the world. And so long as they exist, pro-choice men need to have a strong and loud voice in the fight too.

    I don't disagree with anything at all you said. But with it being men and women both attacking women who need an abortion, you need men and women standing up for them as well.

  • Ruthie O

    Oh yeah, no disagreeing here. Men and women need to absolutely team up. My only point is that women also need a space to vent about being constantly rhetorically and legislatively attacked by the right.

    An example: I am a married, straight woman who has been an ally to the LGBT community since my teenage years. I believe that marriage equality is a civil right, and we should all care deeply about the issue. That being said, when a gay friend of mine vents about feeling hurt or frustrated about anti-gay rhetoric, I don't jump on them to remind them that I'm also in the fight. Because at the end of the day, I can leave the movement, with my relationship and my marriage still recognized by society and the state. My gay friends don't have that choice, so while I join them in their fight, I also recognize that the pain and grief they feel is uniquely theirs. I can support them, but I can never truly understand what it feels like. As allies, we need to recognize our privilege and not make the movement about our needs or acknowledgement.

    Seriously, though. Welcome, allies! I love male allies oodles and oodles. We can't do this without you.

    ETA: I am not accusing anyone here of being an insensitive ally, but believe me when I say that there is a long history of allies trying to take over the movements they joined to supposedly help out.

  • $2786243

    "I can support them, but I can never truly understand what it feels like.
    As allies, we need to recognize our privilege and not make the movement
    about our needs or acknowledgement." THIS.

  • koko temur

    I agree with you on all accounts, i just think a more effective counter-attack is to make it human rights issue. No matter how right you are about mysogeny, shouting at men like natemen that agree with us anyways "shut up, you have no vagina, how dare you being outraged" is rather counter productive. Not that you or joanna were doing that. some do, though.

    As he says bellow, 49-51 devision. Fair enough for me.

  • Erin S

    I'm so fucking upset right now. Went from the ultimate high of Leticia OWNING that absolute dolt Duncan, and the screaming, chanting an applauding for 15 MINUTES, to those fuckers voting after midnight. I just can't. I'm so tired of this shit.

  • calliope1975

    I'm so with you. After sitting through the recent election and being told, among other things, that women's bodies can shut down rape, I'm done. I'm frustrated and angry, and I'm not sure what to do about it.

    I can write letters and vote and donate money, but I'm not sure how to get men in charge to STOP TELLING ME WHAT TO DO WITH MY BODY.

  • NynjaSquirrel

    Move to the UK?

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