think today of all days is one in which we should consider the powerful and influential women in our lives.
I say this after Senator Wendy Davis staged a marathon filibuster in Texas against the abortion bill. This woman had to stand and speak for 11 hours without food, water, sitting down, rest or pause of any kind. The strength that Senator Wendy Davis has shown in support of women and reproductive rights goes above and beyond the call of duty. The only time that Senator Davis could get away without speaking was when she was listening to questions presented to her.
Why was she doing this?
If she was able to stand and talk for 11 hours on the matter, it would stop the bill from reaching the office of Rick Perry and being passed. The bill itself would stop women from getting abortions around 20 weeks of gestation. Though many pro-life supporters would feel that this is a long enough gestation period for women to decide on abortions they are forgetting that around this time women can experience or learn of life-threatening difficulties ahead in their pregnancy. It puts the life of an unborn foetus above the life of the mother carrying it. It may be discovered that there are heavy foetal complications, even occurring in the death of the foetus, which could require an ethical abortion process. Similarly there have previously been many cases where women haven't known about their pregnancy until very late. Heck, there's even a show called 'I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant' that openly discusses cases in which this has occurred. Senator Wendy Davis was standing up for women and their right to choose what is best for themselves and the foetus that they carry.
The bill threatened not only to have an impact on women's right to an abortion. It would have made abortions less accessible to women in general in the state of Texas.
Women are not simply baby machines. Women should have the right to decide what happens to their body and the bodies growing inside them if there are complications. The bill would also restrict abortion clinic locations by demanding that all abortions are performed within ambulatory surgical centres and would also require any physicians that perform abortions to have specific admitting privileges to do so at hospitals within 30 miles. This would pose difficulties for women living in rural areas or areas with little transportation to the appropriate hospitals. The bill would impact the lives of women but also the doctors that serve them.
I find it particularly interesting to examine how the government seeks to treat people through their lives. When in the uterus pro-lifers would say that you should make the full gestation period regardless of the circumstances, health or finance of the parents. As soon as you're born to that parent, you are theirs. If they cannot afford you and have to seek financial aid then they're treated like some sort of leech to the system for needing the money to support the child they didn't want or couldn't afford.
As Wendy Davis tried to speak her view people were constantly attempting to interject and speak over her. There were cries of "let her speak" coming from supporters. Even President Obama tweeted that "something special" was happening in Austin and used the hashtag #StandWithWendy. Women's rights advocates flocked to be present with Wendy in an act of solidarity in the final stretch of her filibuster. Senator Wendy Davis and her team reached out to women and collected their personal stories to give her material to keep talking and people in their thousands wrote in to support her. Websites like Tumblr and Twitter have been ablaze with support.
I think that we should all applaud Wendy Davis. Whether you agree with her views or not it has to be acknowledged that what she has done to support her cause has taken a super-human level of energy and strength. She, to me, is a true hero for quite literally standing for what she believes in. Today I ask you to be thankful for all the strong, independent women out there who are brave enough to raise their voices to question the treatment of women within our society. May we follow those who dare, may they ever inspire us and may there ever be women with the strength of Senator Wendy Davis.