On the last day of a special session in 2013, Democrat Wendy Davis knew she would filibuster an omnibus abortion bill, as did her Republican colleagues in the Texas Senate. As the drama unfolded over 13 hours, protesters crowded the Senate gallery and the Capitol rotunda.
Beyond the Capitol, the Senate’s proceedings drew national headlines — and more than 180,000 people tuned in to watch via livestream.
While the efforts of Davis and her fellow Democrats succeeded in defeating the legislation in that special session, another one was called that summer and a similar bill eventually passed. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the restrictions passed as part of that legislation.
In this documentary by The Texas Tribune, key members of the state Senate and other onlookers reflect on the chamber’s longest night — and discuss the significance of the filibuster five years later.
Disclosure: Planned Parenthood has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.