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Wendy Davis, feminist super hero

In a better world, the discussion of sonograms would not be at all germane to proposed new anti-abortion legislation, because the two issues would have nothing to do with one another. But since Texas, like many other states, recently passed a requirement that women get a sonogram before obtaining an abortion, it made perfect sense that state Sen. Wendy Davis would talk about the way SB 5, the state’s proposed new abortion restrictions, might relate to the earlier sonogram law.

Davis was 11 hours into an effort to filibuster that draconian anti-abortion legislation when she turned to its relationship with the sonogram law, and Republican Sen. Donna Campbell stood up and claimed the Democrat’s sonogram discussion wasn’t germane to the legislation Davis was filibustering. If Campbell was right, that was Davis’s third “strike” – a violation of senate rules that would end the filibuster. After a long break, Lieutenant Gov. David Dewhurst agreed that Davis’s discussion of the sonogram law wasn’t germane to the abortion law debate, and moved to end the filibuster. There followed amazing parliamentary wrangling that had Roberts Rules of Order trending on Twitter in some areas, but in the end, the Senate seemed to pass SB 5 in a shady way (more on that later) that will make an already suspect, poorly written bill even more likely to be overturned by the courts.

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