Perry blames abortion rights activists for 'absolute anarchy'
July 1st, 2013
12:13 PM ET
10 months ago

Perry blames abortion rights activists for 'absolute anarchy'

(CNN) – Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he expects the state legislature to finish their work as early as next week in a special session held in part to vote on restrictive abortion legislation.

But the Republican governor cautioned that there won't be the same "turmoil" and "mob rule" from protesters in the public gallery as there was last week.

Though another large crowd is expected to descend upon Austin Monday, "the lieutenant governor and the speaker both are not going to allow that to occur in their chambers," Perry said in an interview with KFYO, a radio station based in Lubbock, Texas.

Supporters of state Sen. Wendy Davis piled into the state capitol last week as the Democrat from Ft. Worth attempted a 13-hour filibuster to stop a bill that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and tighten standards on abortion clinics and the doctors who work at them. Critics say the legislation would shut most of the abortion clinics in Texas.

Texas abortion battle continues, heads into second special session

When the chairman ruled she had gone off topic around her 10th hour, the Senate attempted to cut her off and officially end the debate. The chamber then entered a lengthy debate about parliamentary rules, and shortly before midnight, supporters of Davis stalled by shouting and chanting in the public gallery. Others who were gathered in the rotunda joined in-all with the goal of silencing the Senate to prevent a vote on the bill.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst announced the bill was dead at 3 a.m., faulting the protesters for disrupting the process.

View the state House version of the bill

Perry said Monday that a group of people have never taken over the voting process at the capitol in the state's history. Asked how long he expects the Senate to stay in session, Perry said it depends: "The question is are you going to let a small group of people take over the process, an unruly mob, to keep from democracy from occurring."

But, he added, he thinks lawmakers "can get in and get out of here by next Monday or next Wednesday."

In a separate interview with WBAP, a station that serves the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex, Perry said the "absolute anarchy that we saw in the last 15 minutes in the Senate chamber (was) not appropriate or normal."

Wendy Davis: Perry has ‘demeaned’ the office he holds

He called on the anti-abortion community to have the same intensity as their opponents in the days ahead but to conduct themselves with "decency, civility and decorum."

"Regardless of whether there is a vocal opposition...Texans and their views will prevail," he said.

Perry fiercely defended the bill in the radio interviews, saying the legislation does more for women who are having an abortion by requiring higher medical standards to be put in place.

Davis, meanwhile, quickly became a national figure following her filibuster. Perry offered some personal criticism of the state senator last week, sparking a public dispute between the two that launched speculation over whether Texas may see a Perry-Davis showdown in next year's gubernatorial election.

Wendy Davis: From teen mom to Harvard Law to famous filibuster

The state senator told NBC News she hasn't "ruled out" the idea of running for governor but is focused on preventing the abortion bill from passing in the special session. In her slew of recent media interviews, Davis has argued that Perry is simply trying to boost his political aspirations by being a big voice in the abortion battle.

Asked about Davis on Monday, Perry, who hasn't announced whether he'll run in 2014, told KFYO the issue is about a debate over life and women's health, not "someone's political future."

Texas filibuster on abortion bill rivets online

– CNN's Miguel Marquez contributed to this report.


Filed under: Abortion • Rick Perry • Texas
soundoff (640 Responses)
  1. edward

    Wendy Davis for Gov of Texas!

    July 1, 2013 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
    ----------------------
    What is it with the right wing's ability to understand the US Constitution? The People have a write to assemble. The only tyranny taking place in Texas is being committed by the state's Republicans. They're setting their religious beliefs into law, which is wrong.

    July 1, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  3. CB FL

    It is really easy to blame anyone except like what Queen Ann said "you people"

    July 1, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  4. Warren

    told KFYO the issue is about a debate over life and women's health, not "someone's political future." A Women's health, Perry last I knew you were a Male. It's none of your business..

    July 1, 2013 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  5. AprilElaine

    Its time for Rick Perry to get out of office, he certainly does NOT speak for all people in the state of Texas. He is an embarrassment to this state and its time for someone else to represent us! :)

    July 1, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. freedom

    How can anyone be in favor of abortion after 5 months? If a woman doesn't know by then what direction she's going to take – then there must be mental illness involved – which is a whole other issue.

    July 1, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  7. tom l.

    @Dutch
    "They sacrifice ALL, and yet Congress doesn't mind slashing their budget."

    Ummmm, perhaps it's time for a lesson here, Dutchman. Firefighters are local and do not fall under the federal govt, big guy.

    July 1, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. California Gary

    He calls the people that protested the bill an "unruly mob".......but tells people that support the bill to be just as "intense". He will now bar the protesters from participating in the democratic process, in order to protect the democratic process, which is supposed to benefit the people he is preventing from participating in it. Is this making any sense to anyone?

    July 1, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  9. John-117

    Abortion is clearly about the right of the unborn, not the mother. Funny how pro-choice calls it a woman's right, while pro-life calls it an unborn's right. Pro-choice is selfish people who devalue human life for their own convenience.

    July 1, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Lou

    So says the king of Texas...............

    July 1, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Jennifer

    So according to Perry, Women aren't Texans...

    July 1, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Dallas

    It's time Texas – 12 years of this man is enough – we must vote him out of office next year. He has become so bigoted and no matter what he thinks, he does not speak for all Texans. Wendy Davis or Julian Castro for Governor! The right wing radical Republican party has held Texas hostage long enough! We must suffer through Ted Cruz until at least 2018 but we can start to make a difference in the next election and vote Gov. Perry out!

    July 1, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  13. Brian

    "The absolute anarchy we saw .......in the senate chamber"

    Anyone who has seen the texas legislature voting process knows that it is always anarchy there.

    July 1, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  14. Former GOP

    .......OH Baby.....You Texas GOTP's are gonna get it next election cycle...........TEXAS GONNA TURN BLUE as the sky

    July 1, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  15. Buddy

    It is going to be sweet to see Planned Parenthood lackeys bussed in from the North hauled off to Texas jails when they create a disturbance. :)

    July 1, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  16. Buddy

    Most Texans don't appreciate baby killing and would not vote for Davis.

    July 1, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  17. Cincinnati girl

    Oh so Gov Perry paving the way for a "small group" of white men to use the Texas legislature to circumvent access to a medical procedure made available by MY constitution is totally ok? Mob rule by those seeking to prohibit a legally and constitutionally granted procedure is exempt? Hypocrisy much Gov Perry?

    July 1, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  18. EG

    "The world has seen images of pro-abortion activists screaming, cheering ..." Said, Gov Rick Perry.

    No one is pro-abortion Mr. Perry, we are pro-choice, pro- .... oh, what's that F-bomb you like to throw around so much? Oh yeah, freedom. According to the bible, lobsters, shrimp, hair cuts and figs are all abominations unto the lord. Until you ban them, sit down and shut up.

    July 1, 2013 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  19. Arch

    awful state to exist as a woman. awful state to live in as a minority. awful state to live in if you want a proper education. awful state if you like clean air and water. awful state if you like separation of church and state. idiot governor with limited i.q. what else does one need?

    July 1, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  20. Knucklehead

    Won't allow it to occur in whose chambers?

    It's clear what these guys think of true democracy: sit down and shut up.

    July 1, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. PaulCat

    You people always complain about the GOP , but yet you continue to vote for them.
    You get what you vote for.

    July 1, 2013 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. rick7809

    "Perry said it depends: "The question is are you going to let a small group of people take over the process, an unruly mob, to keep from democracy from occurring."
    Is he talking about the republican party?

    July 1, 2013 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  23. Aerin

    What a HORRIBLE place Texas is!

    July 1, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. some guy in New Hampshire

    Perry sees absolute anarchy; others see an uprising of the people against a\n intrusive government. Shouldn't a Tea Party lover like Perry be able to recognize the difference?

    July 1, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  25. Pam Fagan

    I think the point is missed by the Governor....those people were voicing their displeasure at an unpopular bill put forth by an unpopular Governor ...that sir is democracy in action!!!

    July 1, 2013 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
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