As a native Californian I often succumb to cynical criticism of the Republican majority in Austin, Texas, but last week Senator Wendy Davis gave me hope in the power that one person truly has to change the world – or at least the vote. She filibustered, standing for hours (and hours… and hours….), to prevent Texas from enacting some of the most stringent abortion laws in the nation.
In case you missed it, check out a recap and interview with Senator Davis below:
Although Davis’ success is likely to be short-lived, as Governor Rick Perry has called a new 30 day session that begins today, July 1st, her triumph has sparked something pivotal. Davis has reminded the nation that not every Texan is pro-life, Republican, or even conservative. She has shown the world that a single voice, despite existing in a sea of naysayers, can influence policy.
When a friend sent me a link to the live filibuster, I thought to myself:
“There is a female Democrat – from Fort Worth – standing up for reproductive rights in the TEXAS senate today? And she is literally going to stand for 13 hours to give a voice to thousands of Texas women, for my voice?”
I was shocked.
She also gave Governor Rick Perry yet another opportunity to demonstrate how completely out of touch he is with women’s rights, and pretty much just people in general. At the Texas Right to Life Convention Perry responded to Senator Davis’ filibuster by saying:
“Even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate.”
“It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”
Even Republicans are bothered with Perry’s personal attack on Davis. Texas House Speaker, Republican Joe Straus, responded to Perry’s comments with:
“Disagreements over policy are important and they’re healthy, but when he crosses the line into the personal, then he damages himself and he damages the Republican Party.”
I think it’s safe to say that many times when Perry opens his mouth he damages the Republican Party, and let’s not forget – he actually used to be a Democrat.
But that’s besides the point. While it is unlikely that Democrats will be able to prevent the bill’s passing in the new 30 day session, Davis showed the world that even if you are a pro-choice, female, Democrat in Texas – you can influence policy.
Last week Senator Wendy Davis inspired a state, reached the nation. She stood for thousands of Texas women.
Today in Austin, thousands of men and women joined her to stand for themselves.