Organizing for Action, the Obama campaign-turned-nonprofit, jumped into the fight about banning abortions in Texas after 20 weeks, promising to help state Democrats fight Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, to stop the bill.
“Because of one powerful woman’s voice — and the thousands of people who had her back — it didn’t go Governor Perry’s way on Tuesday night,” OFA’s Lindsey Siler wrote in an email today. “He called it a ‘breakdown of decorum and decency’ — and what he’s describing was the women of Texas, who literally had to scream to be heard to defend their rights from being stripped away by extremists.”
The bill failed to pass after a 13-hour talking filibuster by Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, who received an assist at the end from a gallery crowd that prevented the vote from taking place before the session ended at midnight by shouting down the lawmakers.
“The cheering in the gallery was deafening and sustained,” Texas Monthly’s Erica Greider wrote of the crowd-sourced filibuster. “It was boosted by hundreds of people outside the Senate chamber, who had been trying to keep track of developments via text and Twitter. The Republicans were trying to keep moving on the bill, but they simply couldn’t hear each other. The Democrats, who had gone to stand with Davis, encouraged the crowd, by flashing two fingers at the gallery — in the Texas Senate, two fingers means you’re voting ‘no’ — and, as the minutes ticked by, five fingers: it was five minutes until midnight, and the death of the bill.”
Perry has scheduled a second special session to pass the bill. “Here’s OFA’s message for them: We’re still standing with Wendy, and we’re not backing down,” Siler wrote.
Here’s the OFA email:
Tuesday night was something special.
All across the country, hundreds of thousands of people were loudly standing up with Wendy Davis, the Texas state senator who spoke for 11 hours to filibuster a dangerous bill that would have closed dozens of health clinics that provide services to women across the state.
It was a rare — and if the other side has their way, temporary — victory in that fight. Texas Governor Rick Perry has already scheduled a special legislative session so they can bring it up again next week.
Here’s OFA’s message for them: We’re still standing with Wendy, and we’re not backing down.
This isn’t just a symbolic show of support.
This is about keeping the spotlight on what these legislators are trying to do in Texas, and starting to shine that light on some of the equally disturbing attacks on women that are making their way through state legislatures across the country.
Because of one powerful woman’s voice — and the thousands of people who had her back — it didn’t go Governor Perry’s way on Tuesday night. He called it a “breakdown of decorum and decency” — and what he’s describing was the women of Texas, who literally had to scream to be heard to defend their rights from being stripped away by extremists.
OFA’s fearless Texas State Coordinator Lauren Coffee has been on the ground with our organizers, working with our allies, and making damn sure that this fight isn’t over.
Governor Perry and these extreme Texas legislators might eventually force their bill through. But even they know that what happened on Tuesday was just the start.
Across the country, hundreds of thousands of people tuned in to witness the ugly efforts to strip women’s rights away.
No matter where these extreme measures pop up, OFA is going to be there, fighting for women.
Stand with the women of Texas right now — and join this fight today:
Thanks — more soon,
National Director of Issue Campaigns
Organizing for Action
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