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Wendy Davis’ marathon filibuster kills Texas abortion bill (for now)

A filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth (and some "Occupy Wall Street tactics" from an "unruly mob" of reproductive rights advocates in the chamber, but more on that later), successfully blocked Texas' controversial antiabortion omnibus bill from passing before the special legislative session deadline of midnight Tuesday.

The measure would have banned abortion at 20 weeks and imposed restrictions on physicians and abortion facilities that would have shuttered 37 of the state's 42 abortion clinics, making access to the procedure virtually impossible, advocates say.

According to reports from the Austin-American Statesman and the Associated Press, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst prematurely halted Davis' filibuster after ruling that her discussion of mandatory ultrasound testing was "not germane" to the bill and in violation of Senate rules; Davis was removed from the floor and pandemonium erupted. Davis' Democratic colleagues who opposed the bill attempted to debate why forced ultrasounds were relevant to the bill under consideration, and a group of reproductive rights advocates observing the filibuster rushed the floor, chanting "Let her speak!" and "Shame! Shame! Shame!"

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