Grassroots Organizing

Abortion legislation heads for filibuster showdown in Austin

Abortion legislation heads for filibuster showdown in Austin

Cecile Richards, daughter of the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards and president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, came to Austin on Monday to join hundreds of women fighting the Texas Legislature’s attempt to impede upon women’s health care and access to safe, legal abortions.

Droves of women clad in orange T-shirts have descended on the Texas Capitol during the last five days. But despite the protests, Senate Bill 5 still passed the Texas House.

 Sen. Wendy Davis from Fort Worth is slated to filibuster for more than 12 hours in an effort to kill Senate Bill 5.

If it makes it through the Senate, the bill would ban abortions after 20 weeks and impose regulations that would likely shut down many abortion clinics in the state.

Richards spoke to a crowd of supporters at the Rattle Inn on Monday, outlining the game plan for Tuesday. Sen. Wendy Davis from Fort Worth is slated to filibuster for more than 12 hours until the midnight deadline rolls around in an effort to kill Senate Bill 5.

The opposition has shown no signs of slowing down. More than 500 people camped for 12 hours outside the Capitol on Thursday to offer opposing testimony, and more than 700 showed up Sunday night to watch the marathon floor debate.

Groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, Whole Women's Health, Jane’s Due Process, Annie’s List, The Lilith Fund, The Texas Democratic Party, Capital Area Democratic Women and the Texas Freedom Network have worked together to oppose the bill.

"It’s exciting to work in coalition with other groups that care about Texas families,” said Guli Fager, a board member of the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity, which provides financial assistance to women seeking abortions. "There’s a lot of anti-choice legislation out there. For [Cecile] to come here demonstrates the amazing grassroots success of what’s happened in the last five days."

"We've got a whole lot of work still to do, and we’re going to win in the long run,” Richards said.

Cecile Richards at abortion rally in Texas
Cecile Richards at Monday's rally. Cecile Richards / Twitter
Sunday abortion rights supporters
Supporters at the Capitol. KVUE