Nightly News   |  June 26, 2013

Wendy Davis on Texas’ ‘tremendous victory’

Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis said she feels great after defying expectations and filibustering for 11 hours to block a bill that would have closed the doors of 37 of the state’s 42 abortion clinics. In the process, she inspired a social media movement, becoming the top Twitter event worldwide. NBC’s Chris Jansing reports.

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>>> it was a live and unfolding political drama . a woman who chose to stand on an issue in front of an audience that grew through word of mouth and social media . by the time it was over, a lot of people knew the name wendy davis . our report tonight from nbc's chris jansing .

>> reporter: the raucus cheers from the texas statehouse capped a long session that started almost 13 hours earlier. democrats were fighting a bill that they said would close 37 of the state's 42 abortion clinics. republicans said it would make them safer and expected a win. then came senator wendy davis .

>> i'm rising on the floor today.

>> reporter: in an elegant white suit and comfy white sneakers, the marathon began. talking and talking and talking.

>> governor perry called us back.

>> reporter: strict filibuster rules said she couldn't sit down, couldn't leave, couldn't take a break for anything. exhausted, she needed a back brace adjusted. opponents charge that and reading from an ipad against the rules.

>> it does say paper, not a computer.

>> reporter: as midnight hour came, tensions rose.

>> probably the worst night i've experienced.

>> reporter: republicans charged that she was off topic. when referencing a previous rule.

>> your point of order is taken and well-sustained.

>> reporter: and the filibuster ended. hundreds of supporters packed the gallery and lined up outside, erupted, hoping to stall the vote. drowning out attempts to pass the bill. by then, nearly 200,000 viewers had logged into the live stream of event. amid the chaos, the bill didn't get signed in time, an unexpected victory for a woman who defied expectations before. a single mother of two who graduated with honors from harvard law school and today a rising political star.

>> i feel great today. i feel like the people of the state of texas had a tremendous victory.

>> reporter: rick perry announced a special session to bring back the bill and davis will be ready. chris jansing , nbc news, new york.