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Lawmaker talks 11 hours non-stop to derail abortion bill
Extraordinary scenes and high drama in Texas senate
Picture: The Guardian
- Helen Davidson for The Guardian
- United States
- June 27, 2013
A controversial abortion bill was blocked after a day of high political drama in Texas that began with a marathon filibuster speech and ended with a raucous public protest fanned by a nationwide social media attention.
Republicans in the state legislature conceded defeat in the early hours of the morning when it became clear that a vote on the bill, which would have severely restricted abortion in Texas, was not completed before a midnight deadline.
There were extraordinary scenes in the senate chamber in Austin, Texas, as Democrats mounted a concerted campaign to stop the bill from becoming law. A Democrat senator, Wendy Davis, spoke for 10 hours and 45 minutes.
Procedural motions brought by Republican opponents forced her to stop speaking, other Democratic colleagues attempted to run down the clock.
News of the remarkable filibuster spread across social media, and President Barack Obama tweeted his support. Hundreds of people flocked to the public galleries, and the hallways outside the senate chamber filled up with hundreds more.
As it appeared that a vote on the bill was close, the public gallery erupted in jeers and cheers, disrupting proceedings.
Source: The Guardian