UPDATE: Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst cut off Davis’ filibuster late Tuesday night, saying she strayed off topic. Democrats appealed the decision, and one state senator—Kirk Watson, also a Democrat—appeared to be readying a filibuster attempt on Dewhurst’s decision, according to the Associated Press.
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis, a Democrat from Fort Worth, is single-handedly trying to block an extreme anti-abortion bill being pushed by Republicans that would significantly reduce access to the procedure and ban it outright after 20 weeks of pregnancy in the U.S.’ second most populous state.
As of Tuesday late afternoon, Davis was in the middle of a one-woman, 13-hour long filibuster in which she can’t sit, use the bathroom or take a meal break. In order to kill Senate Bill 5, Davis must speak until midnight local time, when the Texas legislature’s special session comes to an end.
According to The Texas Tribune, Davis was given her second warning for violating filibuster rules after a colleague helped her put on a back brace. One more violation and her attempt to filibuster the legislation could be over.
The Texas Tribune:
Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, help Davis to put on a back brace, violating a rule that prevents the filibusterer from receiving outside assistance.
“A filibuster is an endurance contest and it’s to be made unaided and unassisted,” Williams said in defense of the point of order.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst clarified after the point of order was sustained that if three points of order are sustained, a simple majority in the Senate could vote to end the filibuster. With a majority of Republicans in the chamber, that vote would surely succeed, and a vote on SB 5 would follow.