Texas State Senator Wendy Davis (D-Ft. Worth) read several letters from Texas residents Tuesday as part of a filibuster to block a package of abortion laws from passing the Texas Senate.
The Senator started her filibuster shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday morning with considerable contempt against Governor Rick Perry.
"Our presiding officer (Gov. Perry) has decided to have us convene in order to talk about bills that could not be taken up in the regular session, and to not follow the tradition of the two-thirds rule in order to accommodate that," said Senator Davis.
Senator Davis is expected to carry the filibuster out until Midnight in an attempt to block the set of bills from being called to a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate.
"These voices have been silenced by a governor who made blind partisanship and personal political ambition the official business of our great state," said Senator Davis. "Partisanship and ambition are not unusual in a state capitol, but here in Texas, right now it has risen to a level of profound irresponsibility and the raw abuse of power."
Several of the letters Davis read were from women in the state who themselves had received an abortion, and from several citizens concerned with the fate of women who want an abortion due to rape and incest.
Democrats set up the filibuster after stopping two attempts by Senate Republicans Monday to bring the abortion bill to a floor vote ahead of schedule.
If Davis' filibuster fails, and the Republican controlled Senate is allowed to call Senate Bill 5 to a vote and pass it, the bill would ban women from getting an abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and would require state clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities to ambulatory surgical centers.
The bill would also require doctors that perform abortions to have admitting priviledges at a hospital within 30 miles of their centers, should something go medically wrong with the abortion. Several Democrats disagree with this statute, claiming it would force several women in Mexico border towns and in West Texas towns to drive hundreds of miles to receive an abortion.