... for Wendy Davis, who for eleven hours straight filibustered the Texas state senate to prevent a draconian abortion law from passing. Prevented by senate rules from sitting, eating, even leaning on the podium, she was monitored every minute by Republicans determined to find some excuse to stop her. They even tried to object as a fellow-Democrat, after seven hours, helped her out with a back brace. Finally, it seems, when the Lt. Governor tried to rule her out of order, the crowds her effort had attracted broke out in rage, and helped her run out the clock.
A brave effort, which Davis promises to repeat when (not if!) Gov. Perry brings the bill back on July 1st. It is, frankly, hard to believe that men could be so adamant and cruel in their demand to exercise control over women and their bodies. And yet these things are happening not only in Texas, but throughout the country. The "vast right wing conspiracy" to which Hillary Clinton referred so many years ago--correctly, in my view, but to universal mockery--has assured itself a seemingly unshakable foothold in state governments, where such basic democratic principles as the right to vote are under constant attack, along with the rights of more than half the citizens of this country: women.
(In my personal belief system, I am no fan of abortion. It involves the taking of life, no matter how primitive and as yet unformed, to which I am in principle opposed--though I have to confess to having made an exception, recently, with the wasps that were nesting on our balcony and threatening the safety and security of our little Luka! I do not regard it as my business, however, to impose my own beliefs on others, who should be free to make these difficult decisions in accordance with their own principles and conscience. Having been myself, many years ago, in a situation that demanded a decision of this kind, I know how heart-wrenching they can be. There is no "good" answer to an unintended pregnancy.)
While applauding the dramatic example of conviction, courage and stamina by Wendy Davis, we should not forget the pressing need to protect democracy in every other instance where it stands threatened by right-wing extremists. It is a sad commentary on democracy itself, that we should be clinging now, in the twenty-first century, so desperately to its tattered remnants. Are we to surrender the last of our freedom to those who would control us--ironically, often in the name of "freedom"?