(The Root) — The Internet was up late watching live streams of Democratic Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis filibustering against Senate Bill 5, which would close nearly every abortion clinic in the state and make it illegal to terminate a pregnancy after 20 weeks. It was a chaotic scene: Hours of arguing exploded into raucous cheers and applause from the gallery in the final 15 minutes. The gallery got louder when it was announced that the vote could not take place unless there was order in the room.
The bill was officially defeated, but not without drama. Opponents of the bill claimed victory when there still was no vote at midnight, but the GOP was soon insisting that the bill had passed, though many watching the live stream tweeted that the clocks clearly showed that any voting happened after midnight.
The Associated Press added to the confusion with this tweet calling the vote for the GOP, and conspiracy theories swirled when it was revealed that their source for the ruling was Republican Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Twitter stayed glued and vigilant, raging against the controversy in real time — since the GOP tried changing the rules after a decision once before and got away with it.
The saga was a nail-biter for those standing with Davis, but Twitter remained plugged in into the wee hours of the morning. Without the watchful eyes of the Internet on the scene, who knows how things would have turned out?
Texan Republicans can’t wrap their heads around the idea of midnight yet claim to have a really good handle on the exact moment life begins.
— Noah Garfinkel (@NoahGarfinkel) June 26, 2013
—> RT @onlychyld: If this is what government does while we’re watching then what are they doing when there is no live stream?
— J Dan (@NFLGoodwitch) June 26, 2013
“Life begins at conception, but midnight is at 12:15am” – Texas GOP
— Graham (@_MelG_) June 26, 2013
If I was there & they voted after midnight I would take a piece of that place home. You’re not going to get my womb AND all these doorknobs.
— Ashley Ford (@iSmashFizzle) June 26, 2013