State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth (File)
AUSTIN (June 25, 2013)—State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, started a filibuster Tuesday to block passage of a proposal that would effectively close most abortion clinics in Texas.
Davis started the filibuster at 11:18 a.m. Tuesday and to derail a vote in the GOP-dominated Texas Senate, she must keep speaking on the bill until midnight, which marks the end of the 30-day special session.
Rules stipulate she remain standing, not lean on her desk or take any breaks, even for meals or to use the bathroom.
Combined, the package of measures including a ban after 20 weeks of pregnancy would represent wide-ranging, stringent abortion limits in the second-largest state.
In her opening remarks, Davis called efforts to pass the bill a "raw abuse of power."
She has a reputation for being willing to spar with the state's dominant political party on issues such as education and women's health.
Davis, 50, started working at 14 to support a household of her single mother with three siblings.
By 19, she was already married and divorced with a child of her own.
After community college, she graduated from Texas Christian University before she was accepted to Harvard Law School from which she graduated with honors, her website says.