"One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world."
On the Senate floor in the State Capitol of Texas last night, Wendy Davis was that one voice.
Senator Davis succeeded in blocking a Republican bill that would have severely restricted access to women's health clinics that provide abortion services in Texas. For more than 11 hours, she staged a one-woman filibuster—never stopping for food or water, never sitting or even leaning against the desk for support. In the face of constant attempts from Republican senators to stop her, she read personal testimonies from constituents who would be deeply affected by the bill.
In the end, Republicans were able to use procedural technicalities to end her speech, only to be drowned out by the voices of the people in the gallery who had come to show their support for Senator Davis. The final vote was recorded at 12:03 a.m.—three minutes past the midnight deadline, meaning the bill will not become law.
Thanks to the powerful voices of thousands of Texans, #SB5 is dead. An incredible victory for Texas women and those who love them.— Wendy Davis (@WendyDavisTexas) June 26, 2013
OFA supporters had rallied to the Capitol earlier and were on hand in the crowd to cheer on Senator Davis, and to stand up for women everywhere.
Organizers collected faces and stories from supporters in the Senate gallery.
OFA's message of support from @BarackObama was retweeted more than 17,000 times, and bolstered the Senate livestream—by midnight, more than 180,000 people were watching live.
It's clear that the women of Texas won't back down in the fight for reproductive health.
This was not just a win for Texas. Senator Davis' filibuster captured the nation and catapulted women's rights into the spotlight once again. The lesson? When we speak up with one voice on the issues that really matter, nothing can stop us.