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Hundreds Of Texans Stand Up Against Sweeping Anti-Abortion Bill, Block It From Coming To A Vote

Health & Wellness  (tags: Abortion, Texas, Women's health )

- 1767 days ago -
Over 700 Texans traveled to Austin on Thursday to testify against the anti-abortion measure before it could come to a vote in the House -- and their "people's filibuster" successfully prevented the legislation from advancing.

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Kit B (276)
Friday June 21, 2013, 8:33 pm
Image Credit: America's voice

Texas lawmakers are currently rushing an omnibus anti-abortion bill through a special session, after each of its provisions failed to advance separately during the regular legislative session. But not without being met with a fight. Over 700 Texans traveled to Austin on Thursday to testify against the anti-abortion measure before it could come to a vote in the House — and their “people’s filibuster” successfully prevented the legislation from advancing.

SB 5 combines several attacks on reproductive access into one measure, and would ultimately force over over 40 abortion clinics across the Lone Star state to close their doors. After the Texas Senate passed SB 5 on Tuesday, a House committee took it up for consideration. Anti-abortion opponents were reportedly discouraged from testifying in favor of the measure before the House vote, in case the legislature runs out of time to approve it before the special session concludes on June 25.

But opponents of SB 5 took the opposite approach, organizing hundreds of women’s health advocates to share their testimony in front of the House committee in the hopes of delaying the vote. An estimated 700 people registered to testify. Some protesters waited up to 12 hours to speak against SB 5, and supporters from across Texas ordered pizza, cookies, and drinks to be delivered to them throughout the night on Thursday.

In the early hours of the morning on Friday, after nearly seven hours of testimony, the Republican chairman of the House committee told more than 300 people who were still waiting in line that they would not be allowed to speak.

“The testimony has been impassioned, but it has become repetitive, so I am going to only allow another hour of testimony on this bill,” state Rep. Byron Cook (R) told a crowd of protesters shortly after midnight. But the 200 women and men in the hearing room, as well as about 100 more people outside, loudly objected. When a Texas State Trooper escorted one woman away from the podium, the protesters all began chanting, “Let her speak!”

When Cook eventually reconvened the hearing, he allowed three more hours of testimony from about 50 additional women. “Our words are not repetitive,” one woman, Lesli Simms, said during her testimony. “Our government’s attacks on our choice, on our bodies, is repetitive.”

The committee chairman concluded the session early on Friday without voting on the anti-abortion legislation.

Opponents of SB 5 hope that their efforts to stall the bill will give Democrats in the legislature enough time to organize a formal filibuster to block it next week. Although Democrats successfully prevented every single piece of anti-abortion legislation from advancing this year, Texas’ special session is operating under different rules that give Republicans a better chance of being able to rush through SB 5 with fewer votes.

By: Tara Culp-Ressler | Think Progress |

Kit B (276)
Friday June 21, 2013, 8:38 pm

Austin and Hairy Perry just did not expect that Women would show up, but they did. Many were outside and not able to get in and fewer still were allowed to speak. Though efforts were made to silence their voices, they did speak and they let their presence be known.

This is far less about the clinical act of an abortion and more about government intrusion on the right of a woman to decide her own destiny.

JL A (281)
Friday June 21, 2013, 8:38 pm
I celebrate the unified efforts and signed a petition on this earlier today--I only hope justice prevails with the available strategies.

David C (29)
Friday June 21, 2013, 10:08 pm
Like JL.A I too celebrate the unified efforts of the over 700 Texans.

Past Member (0)
Friday June 21, 2013, 10:18 pm
Good news

Sherri G (128)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 1:21 am
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day. You go Texas progressives. Don't let conservatives take away rights for women that it took you years to get. The wealthy can always get an abortion but it hurts women with modest means and the very poor and homeless. Every conservative that votes to rob women of their right to choose should be force to adopt children with fetal alcohol syndrome and addictions or that simply are not wanted and a race not acceptable to these jerk politicians. If they adopt these children then at least their hypocrisy would be so obvious. TY Kit Noted

Past Member (0)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 8:02 am
I'm a supporter from afar! Thx Kit

Terrie Williams (798)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 9:33 am
I signed and shared this in private email this morning. Thanks Kit.

Theodore Shayne (56)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 9:36 am

Anna Undebeck (256)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 9:40 am
Thank you so much dearset Kit for bringing this important issue to our attention!!! ( Shared aswell)

Angelika R (143)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 11:13 am
Kudos to those brave masses standing up against a lousy trick. Why in hell must TX always have different, special rules.. we can just hope for the 25th now but certainly a partial victory for now. Thx Kit

Constance F (418)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 11:32 am
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.
Kudos Texas women ! What righteous and inspiring news.
. “Our words are not repetitive,” one woman, Lesli Simms, said during her testimony. “Our government’s attacks on our choice, on our bodies, is repetitive.” PERFECTION !

Birgit W (160)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 12:53 pm
It is about time, thank you.

Bryna Pizzo (139)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 1:16 pm
Thank you for the exciting news! :) Go ladies!!!! :) I wish I could go.

pam w (139)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 1:36 pm

Dianna M (16)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 2:03 pm
No, it's not just Texas with the "special rules"--anybody remember Wisconsin and the Democrats who fled to state to try to keep the Republicans from passing their union-busting budget? The Texas Republicans are using every underhanded trick they can think of to get their pet bill passed, just like in Wisconsin. Because they can't get what they want by legal means, they'll cheat. It's what they're best at. Actually, I could be wrong about that, they're damn good at ignoring reality. ("Climate change is a lie from the pits of hell!")

As an earlier article posted to ThinkProgress in May stated, Texas Republican lawmakers have introduced "at least" 24 different anti-abortion laws. This just proves they're not giving up. It doesn't matter how many courts rule their laws unconstitutional (like the Arizona 20-week abortion ban).

Deborah W (6)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 3:08 pm
I would just add that in the court of public opinion, abortion will reap its own rewards ... to the enjoyment of supporters who eradicated an entire generation of tax paying citizens who would have covered their medical expenses. They'll have loads of time to reflect while lying there.

. (0)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 3:18 pm
Noted & posted

Jane Mckenzie (20)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 3:44 pm
support this!

Carlene V (202)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 3:44 pm
Thanks Kit, this is the best news out of TX I've heard lately. The Repub thugs are trying to cheat their way to preventing abortion and 700 came to protest - you go Texas voters - good on you!!

Bette-Ann Libin (11)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 4:07 pm
The deterioration of hard won women's reproductive rights in the USA is morally unconscionable.
An estimates 20 k unwanted births will result from Texas' new law. Same thing happening in Ohio.

Lois Jordan (63)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 4:10 pm
Noted w/thanks, Kit. I saw Rachel do a segment on this. I really loved watching People Power in action. I hope they continue speak up, speak out and fight against this. I don't think this is going away until elections change the power.

Past Member (0)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 5:07 pm
My heart is with these fine people ~ the war on women is getting real old real fast. Thank you for sharing this Kit!

Rose Becke (141)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 5:12 pm
More power to these women

marie C (163)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 5:49 pm
Wonderful women well done

lee e (114)
Saturday June 22, 2013, 7:32 pm
It's got to be scary for women in the South - or "confederate" states - they are subjected to such abuse and are deserving of our support!

Lona G (80)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 6:56 am
A partial victory by very brave women, but a victory non the less. I do hope they will win again the next time... and the next time... and the next time.

I'm only following these Care2 issues of late and from afar, but within a matter of weeks I've seen these legislation cases come up again and again, for different states. If I remember correctly one state was getting close to its 150th case to try to reverse abortion laws.

Its a very sorry state of affairs if you need filibustering to stop this repetitive onslaught and can't bring it to a halt for good by legislation.

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 7:04 am

Nope, Lee it is not just the south. Women all across this country are being disenfranchised of the most basic of human rights. A right to self determine one's path in life.

JL A (281)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 8:04 am
Cost-benefit analyses (costs of increased foster care, child abuse that go with unwanted children, and congenital conditions) have always shown abortion saves the taxpayers more than the unborn children would have provided in taxes had they lived (response to straw/unfounded argument earlier).
Women do indeed need to keep making their voices heard when statutes/proposals do not give them equal representation and benefits.

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 8:31 am

Thank you, J L for presenting information rarely used to preserve the right of women to make their own life and health decisions. It may be possible to make laws about abortion however, nothing can force a person to love a child that is unwanted.

Jonathan Harper (0)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 10:08 am

Patricia H. (440)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 11:07 am
good news

AntiTeapublican Progressive News (89)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 11:27 am
Awesome news! Thanks for sharing this information.

Kathleen R (138)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 11:35 am
read & noted

Joanne Dixon (38)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 1:29 pm
Kit, whether you were able to be one of them or not, you can be proud of your countrywomen (I don't think there is such a word as statewomen) today.

Kit B (276)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 1:39 pm

Thanks Joanne. Sometimes it's better to just be the back ground support. Most of the women that spoke were of childbearing age. I am very proud of the courage and it should be said, last minute notice, to rally by my fellow Texans. Many people were glued to the TV watching the San Antonio SPURS - some things are more important than sports.

Kathryn Niell (112)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 2:22 pm
Hooray for the 700 people who stood up against the anti-abortion bill! May their actions inspire others to resist unjust laws from being passed.

Thomas P (280)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 3:52 pm
Noted...thanks Kit. Thanks also to JL for using facts to rebut the falsehoods spread from the other side. Pesky things, those things we call facts, eh?

Bette-Ann Libin (11)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 3:58 pm
A few words for those against abortion...against abortion? don't have one.

Do you know how old these words are? 1970 and here we are once again, and again and again and again.

Texas women deserve a tremendous congratulation effort, hopefully inspiring others to do the same before we are chained to the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.

Katie & Bill D (107)
Sunday June 23, 2013, 6:41 pm
I also signed one this morning! Wouldn't that have great to be there????
Just to see their faces!! If that's what it is going to take Keep it going Ladies!!!
Go Ladies!!! Show them!!!
Thank You! Good Article KIt!
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