Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards was at the Texas State Capitol until the early hours of Wednesday morning as protesters and Democratic lawmakers successfully blocked passage of a bill that would have shut down nearly all of the state's abortion clinics and banned abortion after 20-weeks post-fertilization.
State Senator Wendy Davis filibustered the bill for nearly 11 hours before Republican senators interrupted her. As the midnight deadline for the special session drew near, hundreds of protesters in the gallery erupted into cheers that drowned out the proceedings, but Republican lawmakers attempted to claim they had passed the bill anyway. Hours later, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst conceded the vote had not followed legislative procedures, blaming what he called an "unruly mob using Occupy Wall Street tactics." Shortly after 3 a.m., Richards delivered news of the pro-choice victory to protesters in the Capitol rotunda, an area that also houses the portrait of Richards' mother, former Texas Governor Ann Richards.
Democracy Now! spoke to Cecile Richards as she boarded a plane Wednesday morning and asked her what happens next. "With the thousands of people who were mobilized this time around, they will be doubly that way if in fact Gov. [Rick Perry] tries to push [the bill] through again in another special session. And if he does, we'll be ready," Richards says.