On July 9, I stood in front of the old post office building in Waterville with a sign that said, “I stand with Wendy Davis.” Many people stopped and asked, “Who’s Wendy?”

For those who don’t know, Davis is the Texas state senator who stood up for women of Texas and elsewhere in an epic 13-hour filibuster to kill an extreme anti-abortion bill.

She couldn’t eat, drink, go to the bathroom, lean or receive help from her colleagues because that’s how filibusters in Texas work. She stood alone, determined to make women’s voices heard.

She refused to go down without fighting the bill, which she believed would be devastating to women’s health in Texas, closing all but five clinics in the state by putting unnecessary restrictions on them and would ban abortions after 20 weeks.

Although the Texas Legislature has since passed the bill and the governor signed it, Davis’ 13-hour act of courage inspired me to stand in support of her and all women.

Standing with a sign for 13 hours was a test of strength like no other I have attempted before, but it was amazing!

I’m very thankful to the people who showed their support. I never expected to have people bring me water and food or give me hugs, and I couldn’t have imagined the wonderful conversations I’d have with people on both sides of the issue.

The support helped keep me motivated that day, every thumbs up, honk, victory sign, smile and handshake. To everyone I encountered that day, thank you for making that day so amazing.

Our voices matter, the voice of each individual matters. We must fight to protect choice. We can fight, and we can win.

Melinda Bergeron-Lawrence


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