Who is she?
Wendy David is a Texas Senator who in June 2013 spoke for 11 hours straight on the floor of the Senate to ‘filibuster‘ a bill that was trying to restrict access to abortion. During the filibuster, Wendy told heartbreaking stories of women who, like herself, were forced to terminate a pregnancy because of terrible abnormalities and illnesses. She also talked about cuts to family planning services.
The filibuster made international headlines and had its own Twitter hashtag (#standwithwendy). Wendy won the filibuster, but ultimately lost the fight – the bill was later passed in the Senate. Today, there are huge areas of Texas where women have no access at all to safe abortions.
Why should we thank her?
Wendy (literally) made a stand against laws that restrict women’s access to safe medical abortions – ultimately, this is a restriction on reproductive health. Her story reminds us all that we must remain vigilant against those who wish to ‘roll back the clock’ on the rights and freedoms we have won.
“When I believe women’s health is in danger, I’m going to stand and fight to protect that. This isn’t about protecting abortion — it’s about protecting women. It’s about trusting women to make good decisions for themselves and empowering them with the tools to do that.”
The other “most famous” filibuster is one that didn’t actually happen (unless you believe in a world where President Jed Bartlet is President, and frankly, wouldn’t we all love that?). It’s on an episode of the West Wing, where a Senator holds the floor to block legislation that has excluded important funding for autism research. It’s one of the best West Wing eps, hands down.