This week on the Texas State Senate docket: abortion. Thought Wendy Davis killed Texas’ anti-abortion bill? So did I. But Texas is back, triggers hot. This Monday the Senate returned for a second special session to debate restricting abortion rights. Social media users, you helped kill the bill last time. Let’s get ready to rumble. Again.
Like most Americans, I had no clue who Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis was until last week when she filibustered the bill for 11 hours during the first special session. She wanted to speak until midnight, when the special session ended. But 12 minutes before midnight, the Texas legislature tried to force a vote.
Heroically, another Democratic State Senator Leticia Van De Putte asked, "At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over her male colleagues?” A huge pro-Davis crowd had gathered in the courthouse and killed the vote by yelling and cheering until the clock struck midnight.
Anyone following the mainstream media would have missed the story altogether — they didn't cover it. Social media broke the story. #StandWithWendy started trending on Twitter all over the country.
Davis' shoe choice that day catapulted Amazon.com's comment section into a into a social media forum. One person even wrote Wendy a haiku of support.
Some are predicting that Davis won't fare as well this time around. Not only have Republicans had more time to regroup and revamp, but Governor Rick Perry is pushing this bill with full force. He even suggested that Davis' teen pregnancy should have taught her a thing or two about abortion rights.
On Thursday, Perry told a crowd at the National Right to Life Convention, "She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters."
As it seems that the Texan legislature is up to its old GOP tricks, get to your keyboards, kids. I'm not saying it will affect Texas' second session at all. But if the first one taught us anything, social media comes with its pistols drawn. And can influence our democracy for good. What a relief.
Now, back to Facebook.