What was scarier than those ghouls and goblins walking down your street this Halloween weekend? Pro-choice advocates rereading aloud all 212 pages of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’s pro-abortion filibuster.
Counterpath Press, an independent publisher based in Colorado, is the first company to publish a complete manuscript of Davis’ speech from this past June challenging House Bill 2, Texas’s new pro-life bill which bans abortion after 20 weeks. To celebrate the publication of Let Her Speak, abortion rights activists in major cities across the country stepped up to their mics this weekend to reread Davis’s entire filibuster.
Volunteers were asked, on average, to read a five to ten minute section of the transcript. As they listened to the readings, attendees had the opportunity to purchase copies of the published transcript at a discount, with half of all sales donated to Planned Parenthood.
In Durham, North Carolina, for instance, twenty people ranging in age from 10 to 60 were asked to read Davis’ filibuster into a microphone overlooking the Durham Farmer’s Market from 8:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., with money collected going to Planned Parenthood in North Carolina.
Yup, so children as young as 10 could have been reading lines such as, “Abortion, especially early abortion, in the first twelve weeks, is a safe medical procedure with inherently low-risk in outpatient settings without hospital-like facilities. Serious complications arising from surgical abortions at any gestational age are uncommon. By comparison, pregnancy and childbirth are significantly more dangerous to women than abortion.” Or, “It’s obvious that the governor and the Republicans in Texas care very little for the women in this state.” Other sections of the filibuster include an account of a 27-year-old woman who experienced date rape and a promotion for birth control pills.
Participants kept track of the hours-long event by tallying off each page.
It gets better. On the transcript publisher’s website, editors describe Davis’s filibuster as a piece of “American history,”
It is a document alive with American history, the struggle of women to carve out basic human rights, and a heroic 10-hour effort—Davis literally standing in one place, speaking and reading, arguing with other Senators—that infiltrates the timed machinations of the law with the defiant text of one of the most important political movements of our time.
Despite the publisher’s glowing description of Davis’s filibuster and these readers’ efforts, thanks to HB2, abortion clinics are closing at a rapid pace in the Lone Star State.
So, while pro-choicers are wasting time reading dozens of pages full of hateful rhetoric against Republicans who supposedly want 'to take women back,' pro-life Texans are speaking for unborn children.