Late last night, the restrictive abortion bill Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis fought so hard against finally passed the Senate, and now heads to Gov. Rick Perry's desk for signature, which is a mere formality. But Davis is not giving up -- not by a long shot. Just before midnight last night, after an emotional day of heated debate and tampon confiscations, the Texas state Senate passed House Bill 2 with a 19-11 vote, restricting abortion access across the state and banning abortions after 20 weeks. Opponents of the bill gathered, cheered and protested outside of the state Senate building all day and well after midnight, even though the bill was always expected to pass.
HB 2 requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospital surgical centers, a move that is expected to financially cripple most of the clinics in Texas. Senate democrats tried to attach 20 different amendments to the bill that would have, among other things, allowed exceptions to the 20-week ban for rape and incest victims. They were all defeated on party line votes.
The governor was pleased his special Senate session finally filled its desired goal. "Today the Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to protect life," he said last night. He applauded the lawmakers who "tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable Texans and future Texans." He did not offer a new take on Wendy Davis, the woman who might be coming for his job when he vacates the Governor's office to (maybe) run for President.
But Davis, who defeated the bill after her now-famous old school 11-hour filibuster the last time it was presented to the Senate, was looking to the future Saturday night. She tweeted this shortly after the bill passed:
Some believe this fight is over with this vote tonight, but they're wrong. The fight for the future of Texas is just beginning.— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) July 13, 2013
She's now being urged in some corners to go ahead and run for governor. It's hard not to wonder if last night sealed the decision for her.