House Democrats used parliamentary tactics to draw out the debate for 15 hours Sunday night and into Monday morning, pointing out technical mistakes in the process or trying to tack on amendments to fundamentally change the bill. Democrats also showed up more than two hours late Monday morning.
Supporters say the bill would improve women's health care. Opponents warn it would shut down 37 out of 42 abortion clinics in the state, leaving wide swaths of Texas without access.
Sunday night's debate was grueling, and the bill's sponsor stopped answering questions after she got into trouble denying Democratic amendments. When Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, called for an exemption for women who were victims of rape and incest, Rep. Jody Laubenberg, R-Parker, explained why she felt it was unnecessary.
"In the emergency room they have what's called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out," she said, comparing the procedure to an abortion. "The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development."
Her apparent confusion about "rape kits" — a phrase generally used to describe the equipment used by medical personnel during forensic examinations to gather physical evidence following allegations of rape or sexual assault — sparked widespread ridicule on social media sites. Laubenberg then simply rejected all proposed changes to her bill without speaking until the end of the debate
Out of embarrassment due to her complete lack of knowledge, the bill's sponsor simply shouted down all dissent.
How supremely conservative.