“SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!” Texas Senate Attempts Voter Fraud After Filibuster

STORY BY Grace Jung

Published: August 6, 2013

Just a few hours before the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA and Prop 8, something outrageous was happening in the Texas Senate.

Senator Wendy Davis had just completed a marathon filibuster lasting over ten to eleven hours, in order to prevent a vote on an anti-abortion bill that would have seriously hindered the reproductive justice efforts in Texas. If passed, not only would it have restricted abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, but would have also shut down a majority of the abortion clinics in the state. Unable to eat, drink, sit, or go to the bathroom, Senator Davis stood for a record number of hours in her pink Nike sneakers, reading numerous stories submitted by supporters to successfully continue the filibuster.

As the clock drew closer to midnight, it appeared like Davis and her supporting Democrats were going to walk off with the definite win. After being ignored multiple times by her male colleagues, Democratic Senator Leticia Van de Putte asked, “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?” The statement prompted the thousands in attendance to erupt into gleeful cheers that never stopped until midnight, marking the end of the exhausting filibuster. Feminists and feminist allies collectively exhaled, relieved that the bill would be officially blocked for another two years. It was a rare but exciting victory for the reproductive justice movement in Texas…right?

But then the opposition in the Texas Senate attempted to do something so contemptible that the crowd burst into angry “SHAME! SHAME! SHAME!” chants.

In front of the thousands in attendance and the hundreds of thousands watching at home, the opposition attempted tovote on and pass the billfollowing the end of the filibuster, even if it was clearly after midnight. In other words, 170,000+ witnessed the opposition’s blatant attempt to commit voter fraud, displaying incredible indifference to and disregard for the very people they were supposed to represent. And even though the vote was later ruled void and the bill dead, that disgusting moment of hypocrisy cannot be forgotten. Because what many still do not understand is that this kind of corruption runs rampant in our political system every day, and the victimized are always women, the poor, and people of color (POCs).

We witnessed privileged, entitled white males completely trample on the efforts of an amazing woman, who literally abandoned her basic rights to stand up for those without voices. It is an everyday occurrence that not enough people are trying to change, because apathy and political neutralization is oddly valued in today’s generation when it shouldn’t be.

After this, outrage is justifiable, but surprise should not be. 

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