Wendy Davis | Texas Public Radio

Wendy Davis

To keep you up-to-date on all the action going on at the Capitol today, we've created a Storify to monitor the protests on the first day of the special session. Click below to see the timeline.

Chris Eudaily / TPR News

Texas Matters: The battle over abortion hit a boiling point in Texas this week and it all started  with a 13-hour filibuster attempt by Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, which was cut short, continued with Sen. Leticia Van De Putte of San Antonio challenging the Republican (male) dominance of the floor, which finally pushed the room into a frenzy with one ruckus crowd of supporters. This did not sit well with the governor.

An irony of the recent Texas political theater: Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis' filibuster aimed at stopping anti-abortion legislation raised not only her profile but that of Republican Gov. Rick Perry.

Shortly after Davis' talkathon ran out the clock on a bill that would potentially have made abortions much harder for women in Texas to obtain after 20 weeks of pregnancy, Perry put himself back in the national headlines.

Overnight, Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis became a national political name and a hero to abortion-rights supporters around the country.

Office of State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte

Update (6/28/13 10 a.m.) An article posted yesterday online by the Express-News talks about the series of events on Tuesday night and how the online change took place, comparing what happened at the capitol with a football game.

In football, the game is not over when the clock runs out if a play has been started -- it ends when the play is over, which is how it works in the Senate.

Ryan Poppe / Texas Public Radio

The attempted filibuster by Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, slipped off the rails, but Democrats were still able to defeat the legislation with a little help from citizens who packed the state capitol.

Davis’ filibuster lasted about 11 hours, until the strict filibuster rules of the Texas Legislature allowed Republicans to end her attempt to block the bill just short of the midnight deadline.

By midnight Texas time, it was all over but the parliamentary inquiries. After a nearly 11-hour filibuster attempt by state Sen. Wendy Davis to block sweeping restrictions on abortion, the Republican-dominated Texas Senate successfully shut down the filibuster on points of order. (See update at the bottom of this post.)

"This is probably the worst night that I've experienced since I've been in the Senate, maybe since I've been in public life," said state Sen. Kirk Watson, a Democrat from Austin.

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