It was a sea of orange T-shirts Tuesday evening as the Stand With Texas Women Bus Tour rolled up to Discovery Green in Houston for a rally featuring none other than state senator and filibuster folk hero Wendy Davis.
Did we mention Wendy Davis was there?
The hour-long event was held as the Republican-led Texas House approved strict anti-abortion legislation requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals while dictating when patients can take abortion pills and banning abortion procedures after 20 weeks. The laws passed along party lines, and the same is expected when the bill reaches the Republican-led Senate on Wednesday.
"We wanted to take this conversation across the state of Texas, away from the enclave of the capital to make sure everyone was heard," Davis said.
Knowing full well the legislation will be finalized by Gov. Rick Perry, Democratic lawmakers are taking to the road this week to raise awareness of the Republican campaign.
Lone Star State political royalty Cecile Richards — daughter of the late Ann Richards and current president of Planned Parenthood — helped kick off a series of speeches with Melaney Linton of the Gulf Coast chapter, which has withstood heavy attacks from Texas legislators in recent years.
Up next were energizing talks from heavy-hitting Texas Democrats like former Austin mayor and current senator Kirk Watson and rising star José Rodríguez of El Paso, as well as Houston politicos Sylvia Garcia and Rodney Ellis.
But it was Wendy Davis who stole the show as she maneuvered her way around cheers of "Wendy, we love you" and "run for governor."
"The reason we're here is very simple," she told the crowd.
"We know the partisan leadership in charge does not respect the right of all Texans to make very critical and personal decisions about their own lives and their own bodies. We're tired of politicians tying their political aspirations to consequences that hurt real people in our community."
She discussed the now-famous filibuster and the parliamentary tactics used by Republican lawmakers to limit public hearings about the controversial anti-abortion bill.
As she dodged questions about a potential gubernatorial campaign, Davis spoke with CultureMap about the statewide tour during a brief post-rally press conference.
"We wanted to speak to the community," she said. "We wanted to take this conversation across the state of Texas, away from the enclave of the capital to make sure everyone was heard."