July 14, 2024

Support Senator Davis’s Filibuster against Texas SB 5: restricting women’s access to abortion.

It is live streaming now, and she is in trouble. The Texas Senate is deciding if she broke the rules by accepting a back brace from a colleague. If she survives this ruling, she has until midnight to block the vote on SB5. It will most likely give her 2 warnings and she has 3 allowed. Women’s rights advocates have blocked this regressive legislation all year, but Gov. Rick Perry is using the summer special session to railroad bills into law. It is estimated that the regulations in this bill will shut down 90 percent of the abortion clinics in Texas, severely limiting the abilities of low income women to have access to a safe and legal abortion.

You can support her by sending your story for her to read during her filibuster. I have already submitted my story. You can also watch this event livestream here. [notice]Update she has received 2 warnings[/notice]

Go Wendy!
Go Wendy!

56 thoughts on “Support Senator Davis’s Filibuster against Texas SB 5: restricting women’s access to abortion.

  1. Back to Backstreet abortions, back to finding dead newborn babies in trash cans, dumpsters, and restroom stalls, all because of a few massoginists think women are too stupid to make thier own reproductive decisions.

    1. Nonsense. The Texas GOP is supporting the return of bloody coat-hangers and painful deaths for women unfortunate enough to get pregnant unintentionally.

      She’s supporting women’s right to be treated as full humans, with bodily autonomy. Characterizing that as anything less than noble is absurd.

    2. No, she’s not. Scraping a handful of cells out of a woman’s uterus is not murder. Getting hyperbolic about a position you haven’t justified doesn’t help your argument.

    3. “Legalized murder” is an oxymoron. Murder, by definition, is an unlawful killing. If it’s legalized, it’s not murder.

      If you wish to stir up the pot by using such inflammatory and emotional rhetoric to describe something you do not agree with, at least base it in some form of reason or logic. (And proper punctuation, preferably.)

      1. I always wonder what people like Cheryl are trying to accomplish. Obviously, the person who posted the article doesn’t agree with Cheryl’s mindset, but Cheryl uses the most mindless, hyperbolic language which doesn’t have the slightest chance of convincing anyone.

        1. With the Internet, you can never quite tell if it’s serious or they’re just trolling. I mean, I’ve been on different sides of this debate over the course of my life, but even back when I considered myself fully “pro-life” I made an effort to reasonably articulate my point and use the shift key.

          1. I think perhaps she did articulate her point … or at least she conveyed as much coherent thought as she has done, in regards to her point.

        2. My mind set is that abortion is Murder. Women are killing innocent children that don’t have a voice. You people that are for abortion have been born. Ronald Reagan said, ” “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” Murder is the Unlawful killing of another human being. Life begins at conception. If you want to have sex then handle the consequences. Abortion is not a form of birth control. Lord Narf you are a hand full of cells so it should be ok for me to kill you.

          You people will be judged and answer to God. This is just plan wrong anyway you slice it. Oh and by the way my maternal mother was raped and she carried me and I was adopted so I get all the sides.

          ABORTION IS MURDER!!!!!!!!!

          1. Good for you, you have your opinion and you can stand by it: you don’t have to have an abortion, and you can speak and write about it as much as you want.

            Everyone else has their opinions too, and they can take actions based on what they decide. What you can’t do is force them to live by *your* opinions.

          2. Women are killing innocent children that don’t have a voice.

            No, they’re killing blastocysts/fetuses. Non-sentient lumps of dividing cells. A human-to-be; not a human as is (Of course, even if we assume that the aforementioned biomass is a human, abortion is still permissible, unless you believe that people who need a kidney should be able to subdue a stranger at gunpoint and force them to donate it).

          3. @Cheryl Burger

            I know this is harsh, but I do ask you to read it. You might learn a thing or two. I do not intend to be unnecessarily harsh.

            Life begins at conception. If you want to have sex then handle the consequences. Abortion is not a form of birth control. Lord Narf you are a hand full of cells so it should be ok for me to kill you.

            You people will be judged and answer to God. This is just plan wrong anyway you slice it. Oh and by the way my maternal mother was raped and she carried me and I was adopted so I get all the sides.

            ABORTION IS MURDER!!!!!!!!!

            In one technical sense, life does not begin at conception. Under the usual biological definition of life, found here:


            The cells before fertilization are alive, and the cell after fertilization is alive. Life did not “begin”. Under that definition, every cell division in my body (which happens quite frequently) is the creation of new life, or whatever.

            Perhaps you mean that fertilization is the creation of a new differentiated multicellular organism? Sure, that’s factually accurate. So what?

            I can only guess as to your actual argument, but I’ve heard this often enough that I have a decent idea of what it is. Namely, you argue that your christian god makes the soul enter the new distinct human multicellular organism at fertilization, and that one should not kill any (human) organism with a soul.

            First thing’s first. There is no god, and there are no souls, and thus your argument is based on faulty premises.

            Furthermore, your argument leads to ridiculous conclusions.

            Are you aware that weeks after fertilization, the embryo can split to form identical twins (or triplets, etc.)? What happens there? Did your christian god make two souls enter the thing? Or did your christian god add another soul two weeks later at the split?

            Are you aware that weeks after two eggs are fertilized, they can join together to form what is known as a human chimera? It is thought that most grow up just fine, and they lead “normal” healthy lives. These human chimeras have their body partitioned so that part of it has one human DNA genome, and the other part has a completely distinct human DNA genome. So, did souls enter each egg at fertilization? What happened at the join? Do human chimeras have two souls? Did one of the embryos die when it joined? This is not science fiction. This actually happens, and it is thought that it happens much more often than you would think.

            Finally, even if we grant your absurd premises – that the christian god exists, that there is such a thing as human souls, and human souls enter the egg at fertilization – your conclusion still does not follow. We moral and decent human beings care about the happiness, freedom, safety, and well-being of people, and the other values of humanism. We know that a single celled creature, or early term embryos in general, do not feel pain. They don’t feel anything, actually, soul or no soul. We know that a nervous system is required for any sort of awareness or feeling of pain, or any thought whatsoever. So, even if the early term embryo had a soul, there is nothing wrong with ending it, especially considering it gets a straight ticket into paradise.

            The only way your argument works is by divine command theory, namely, the argument that “the christian god said we should do it, and thus we should do it”. Your argument needs “the christian god said not to kill early term embryos, and thus we shouldn’t kill early term embryos”. I reject that out of hand. I am not a slave to your christian god whether it exists or not. I don’t give a rat’s ass about its ridiculous proclamations. I care about the happiness, freedom, safety, and well-being of people, and the other values of humanism. I don’t care about the absurd dictates of a narcissistic celestial tyrant.

            Furthermore, are you aware that there is not a single scripture which clearly supports your position? In fact, many serious christian theologians of days gone by have suggested that the soul actually enters the embryo after 3 months or 6 months, e.g. the “quickening”. Do some research. What you are doing is actually furthering a very specific Roman Catholic dogma which came about from a pronouncement of the Roman Catholic Pope, and that pronouncement has little to no basis in scripture.

            There’s another absurdity of your position. When do you bury someone? When they die? The beginning of sentience and the subsequent acquisition of moral consideration is fuzzy, and the other side – death – is similarly fuzzy. What is human death?

            Somewhat recent definitions of death have been heart-stop. However, with modern medical advances, we are able to keep people alive for several hours after heart-stop with sufficiently sophisticated and expensive machinery. They can be alive, conscious, and cogent, and able to carry on a conversation as normal. I’m not willing to call that dead. I’m not going to bury them. Thus heart-stop is a bad standard.

            AFAIK, the modern standard is clinical braindeath. We know that braindead people do not later get up and start having a conversation. Furthermore, from modern medical science, we know that braindead people cannot feel pain, or have any thoughts whatsoever. Brains are required for that.

            Keep in mind that clinically braindead people still have many living cells. As many as 90% of the cells in your body do not have human DNA, and even the ones with human DNA continue to live under the usual biological definition after braindeath for some period of time (at least I assume so). Furthermore, to play around with your bankrupt theology, I see every reason to think that someone can be clinically braindead but still able to be a parent (at least male braindead people). That’s because death, just like the start of life, is nowhere near as clearcut as you make it out to be. I see every reason to believe that the sperm are just as viable a few seconds after braindeath as a few seconds before braindeath. (Probably much longer. I’m not sure offhand.)

            Still, this little aside is mostly immaterial. I just bring it up as a form of education because you surely must be ignorant to hold the positions that you do. However, the important point is not whether you can be become a father after braindeath. The important part is that we care about sentience, about minds, and minds only exist with brains. Without a brain, there is no mind, and thus there is absolutely no moral consideration whatsoever. I care no more for a week old embryo than I do an ant. At that state, the human embryo doesn’t even have differentiated cells, thus not even nerves. The ant is miles ahead in my moral calculus.

            (However, I do care greatly about the parents’ concerns about their ant-equivalent, and I would also care about the legality through a simple self-interest.)

          4. Murder is the Unlawful killing of another human being.

            Ah, so you admit that abortion isn’t murder, then. Abortion is legal; murder is not. Therefore, abortion =/= murder. This is logic 101.

            Life begins at conception.

            You’re not going to bring anyone over to your side by making vague arguments full of weasel words.

            Life does not begin at conception. Sperm and egg cells are alive. According to your terms, we should make it illegal for men to masturbate.

            I care more about suffering and viability of the embryo. By that standard, the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision lays out a good, working standard, and I think the various fundie-driven states should stop screwing with it … legal abstinence. You guys like abstinence, right?

            If you want to have sex then handle the consequences.

            That’s exactly what people do, by having an abortion. It’s more responsible to not bring a child into this world, when you can’t afford to take care of it.

            Many women have abortions because they get pregnant in high school or college, when their lives will be negatively impacted by having a child. They wait until they’re older and are more able to take care of a child. Then, they have children. That’s better for them; it’s better for their children; it’s better for society.

            Abortion is not a form of birth control.

            That’s pretty rich, since most of the anti-abortion types are speaking out against most forms of birth control, as well. If we had better availability of birth control for teenagers, we would need fewer abortions. What’s your stance on easy access to birth control for teenagers?

            Lord Narf you are a hand full of cells so it should be ok for me to kill you.

            Try it.

            Unfortunately for you, that would be illegal, and I would hope you fry, in the very unlikely event that you would succeed.

            You people will be judged and answer to God. This is just plan wrong anyway you slice it.

            No, we won’t. We’ll rot in the ground, same as you.

            You have to know how worthless it is, going onto a blog full of atheists and screaming about the judgement of your invisible friend, right?

            Oh and by the way my maternal mother was raped and she carried me and I was adopted so I get all the sides.

            I’m sorry to hear that. I wish your biological mother hadn’t been raped … which would have the same effect of you not being here, just as much as if your mother had had an abortion.

            I’m here. You’re here. Be happy that the random events worked out the way they did, and get on with your life.

          5. I don’t believe for one second that you believe abortion is murder. How can anyone truly believe that thousands of humans are being murdered, and their only call to action is to sit around church groups and complain, or to go around atheist blogs and spew garbage they know won’t convert a single mind to their cause.

            If I, an “immoral” atheist saw an innocent man getting mugged and beaten to death, it would be my obligation to help to the best of my ability to rescue that individual, no matter how long the chances my success would be. You “pro lifers” think you are accomplishing something by complaining on the internet, or verbally harassing people in front of clinics, but all of that belies your true belief: You don’t actually think anyone is getting murdered, you’re just parroting the buzzwords you’ve heard your pastors and other clergymen say over and over to pretend they are actually taking action. As psychotic as they are, the guys who bomb abotortion clinics at least have the courage of their convictions, unlike you cowards who think poster boards and glitter are the weapons-of-choice against genocide. Believe me, I’m glad you’re tame, but you have to admit, deep down in, that there is no way you honestly think anyone has committed genocide. Hitler committed genocide; We didn’t just sand outside Germany with signs that read “Murdering Jews is bad and should be stopped!” Hell no! We invaded and killed his ass.

            We stormed Normandy with guns and tanks, not glitter-filled, rhyming, catch-phrase laden signs we bought at Walmart.

          6. I’m not sure your argument about Hitler is specifically on target, in this case. We didn’t find out about the genocide in the concentration camps until after the war. Hitler was doing plenty of other evil stuff, of course, in his invasion of other countries. Right idea; wrong specifics.

          7. I meant to add something, here:

            Lord Narf you are a hand full of cells so it should be ok for me to kill you.

            Try it.

            Unfortunately for you, that would be illegal, and I would hope you fry, in the very unlikely event that you would succeed.

            I won’t even address the absurdity of calling me a handful of cells. I think that statement stands on its own.

            Moreover, there’s an important qualitative difference between me and the fetus. No, it’s not that I have the ability to defend myself. It’s that I have the ability to want to not die. At the point at which almost all abortions take place, the fetus has no working nervous system. It has no functional brain that can have desires or suffer. In many cases, its cells have not even differentiated to the point that it has anything identifiable as nerve cells.

          8. My mind set is that abortion is Murder. […] Murder is the Unlawful killing of another human being.

            Yes, as I said murder is the UNLAWFUL killing of another human being, but abortion is LEGAL, therefor abortion is not murder. This is elementary logic we’re talking about here. You can argue about abortion being right or wrong, but the fact is it’s clearly not murder. As long as you insist on beating that particular drum, you don’t have a leg to stand on.

          9. You do realize that if we accept your pet theory (even though it is wrong as has been eloquently elucidated) that most women in the world are (repeat) murderers. Why? Because 1/3 to 1/2 of fertilized eggs are aborted by their body. The US has a total fertility rate (that is the average number of children born for each woman) of just under 2 children. That means accepting your (faulty) theory of life starting at conception statistically results in every women performing 1 or 2 murders during her life. So why aren’t they locked up or aren’t you advocating such policy?.

          10. You’re in a fertility clinic that is burning down. Before you are two doors, each partially blocked by the same piece of burning debris. You can shift the debris so that it unblocks Door A, but in doing so you will permanently block Door B. Conversely, you can unblock Door B, but doing so will permanently block Door A. Only one of the doors can be opened.

            Behind Door A is a portable cooler containing 10 human embryos, all scheduled to be implanted.

            Behind Door B is a single newborn infant.

            Which do you rescue?

          11. Replace “abortion” with “contraceptives” to see how silly this is.

            You notice that people who are for contraceptives have been conceived. Donald Deagen said “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for contraceptives has been conceived.”

          12. You could construct one for rape, as well. It would require a lot more tinkering with the verbiage, though, and I don’t feel like making the effort, since it’s not necessary.

            You may want to be careful with that comparison though, Helmi. Next thing you know, the anti-abortionists might realize that it’s a fair comparison, and then they’ll try to outlaw contraceptives. Oh, wait … shit.

  2. That was amazing to watch (from Canada). Here’s hoping their voices only grow for the next round.

  3. This was the most riveting, nail-biting piece of democracy ever. At midnight there were >200,000 viewers on the live feed, who saw the Republicans pull every dirty, illegal trick to try to stop the filibuster and pass the bill. As someone said, the last two hours we were *literally* watching a group of men debating a woman’s right to speak.

    It was the senator who asked how loud a woman had to speak over her male collegues in order to be heard that started off the “citizens’ filibuster”. At that question, the gallery began to roar, and there were too many of them, the police just couldn’t stop them. The proceeding stopped and the crowd kept it up for fifteen solid minutes, until midnight had passed. And then they continued celebrating.

    The Republicans unwisely decided to commit voter fraud in front of a national audience, so they called a vote after the midnight deadline and declared the bill passed, syaing that they’d met the deadline. The official computer that records the senate’s actions showed the vote as taken on June 26th, meaning after midnight, but somehow:) that got changed to June 25th, before midnight. Too late, fools, many screenshots had been taken and the Before and After pictures were being circulated.

    So at about 3 AM, the Republicans conceded that the vote was too late, and had failed. I sent contributions to as many of the Democrats as I could, they’d worked so well (although I don’t live in Texas!). The Democrats have a new national star (Davis), and when Tabsolexas turns blue, this will be cited as the night that started.

    Really, it was absolutely amazing.

    1. Gosh, that’s supposed to in “Texas” in the penultimate line. And, it was an international audience.

  4. @6

    It wasn’t even a technicality really. The strike was recieved for not staying on topic during her discussion of the bill. However whether a topic is ‘germaine’ to the bill is decided by the will of the majority in the senate. Since the majority of senators were republicans they were able to rule that discussion of the current state of abortion legislation is not germaine to a bill restricting access to abortions. This was obviously absurd. Senator Davis did not trip up on a technicality, she stayed on topic and the republicans quite dishonestly decided to claim that they believed otherwise. Had she actually tripped up and carelessly gone off topic I don’t think folks would have been nearly so upset and willing to shout down the proceedings.

    1. Actually, it wasn’t even the will of the majority in this case. After a 30+ minute internal debate on the rules, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst got tired of waiting and unilaterally ruled that Davis’s comments about State-required sonograms were nongermane.

      1. Is that what happened? The sound kept cutting out but I assumed they voted on it as they had with the previous two strikes. That’s even more rubbish.

    2. Even better. You can only get 1 strike for going off topic 3 times as some people who were watching managed to dig up and send to the democrats. Which was overruled due to it already been given when that point was brought up.

  5. @Enlightenment Pardon me for a second while I put down the laptop so I can stand and applaud. A very thorough and well-argued take down of pure religious-driven ignorance.

    @Cheryl Let me ask you something… what is the alternative to making abortion illegal? Actually, I’ll answer for you… It’s women dying, certainly a number of them really, really young, due to coat hanger abortions performed by gentlemen who received their “M.D.” from University of Delloware (notice the spelling). It’s women bringing to term the rape babies put in their uterus’s by bullies and incestuous relatives. It’s thousands of more children who aren’t wanted going into foster situations and adoptions agencies, when those organizations are already more crowded than you can possibly imagine. All so people like you can sit in your ivory tower and pat yourself on the back for being so morally superior to those terrible people who’d rather not birth some asshole’s rape baby.

    1. Mmm. Thanks.

      Personally, I’m really fond of the human chimera angle. It’s seemingly absurd to say the soul enters at fertilization, but the egg+soul combo can later join with another egg+soul combo to form a single human being with presumably only one soul.

      One last bit: I forgot about the “argument from potentiality”, but that argument is similarly absurd. tl;dr, idiots claim that it’s wrong to end an embryo because it has the potential to grow into a full human being. By that argument, it’s also wrong to use a condom, or to practice abstinence. Nowhere does it make fertilization some magic bright line. You need some other arguments to make fertilization special, and I think I dealt with those already.

      1. Personally, I’m really fond of the human chimera angle. It’s seemingly absurd to say the soul enters at fertilization, but the egg+soul combo can later join with another egg+soul combo to form a single human being with presumably only one soul.

        Is that how we get prophets?

      2. One last bit: I forgot about the “argument from potentiality”, but that argument is similarly absurd.

        I don’t think she actually made that argument. She’s too hardline to concede anything to the squishier middle, which is whom that argument is supposed to appeal to. Cheryl is so wrapped up in her religious fundamentalism that she’s unwilling to make any alterations to her arguments to appeal to anyone who doesn’t hold the same worldview … thus my earlier comment, wondering what people like her are actually trying to accomplish, spewing their bile in forums like this.

    1. Yes and no.

      Yes as in the entire circus managed to run out the clock so the roll call was taken between 1 and 3 minutes after the special session expired. Afterwards the republicans went for a bit of criminal behavior by retroactively altering the time so it would have been voted for on the 25th and not the 26th. About 1 hour after that stunt they did admit defeat.

      No as in Perry has announced he will convene a new special session of the Texas legislature (with most likely just one bill for the entire session). There is no way that the clock can be run out on it this time if SB5 is the first bill presented. If by some miracle there is no vote on SB5 before the session ends Perry will (most likely) call a new special session to try again.

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