We Will Not Yield Anniversary Gathering

Written by Sarah Tuttle

We Will Not Yield. Photo by Sarah Tuttle.Last Wednesday marked the one year anniversary of the filibuster by Wendy Davis in the Texas Senate.  Having been presaged by a people’s filibuster earlier in the week, Wendy Davis stood for 13 hours to prevent a vote on a bill (SB5) to severely curtail abortion access in Texas.  Organizers and supporters came together at the Butterfly Bar to celebrate, commiserate, and reminisce.

Senator Leticia Van de Putte, currently representing San Antonio, kicked the evening off. Her campaign for Lt. Govornor has grown out of her quote shouted out once her microphone had been turned off during the filibuster – “At what point must a female senator raise her hand or her voice to be recognized over the male colleagues in the room?” She is an electric speaker, and would be a welcome change in the state house.  A few hundred people over the course of the evening braved the slightly erratic weather, even though it was a drippy and damp. Orange shirts were bought, war stories were exchanged, and delicious drinks were imbibed.

A wide range of artists performed – if you want to go peek, the recordings from the livestream can be found here: http://wewillnotyield.wordpress.com/livestream/.  Our own neighborhood star Elizabeth McQueen performed, Krudas Cubensi rapped, several slam poets brought their passion and indignation, and more rabble rousing by state representatives Jessica Farrar and Donna Howard.  Local organizations fighting for reproductive justice shared information and helped the crowd focus their frustration into action.  I was there on behalf of The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Justice, our local abortion fund, as well as a new project Abortion is Healthcare, working to move abortion access and reproductive healthcare back into the big tent of “normal” medicine.

Much that we feared has come to pass since last summer, and unfortunately there is still more to come as the final provisions of the law go into effect in September. On the heels of yesterday’s unsurprising but disappointing Supreme Court ruling, supporting a corporation’s right to limit access to birth control, it is clear that access to reproductive healthcare is in danger across the country.  Perhaps the next time we get together, it will be to celebrate better news.


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