Perry blames abortion rights activists for 'absolute anarchy'
July 1st, 2013
12:13 PM ET
1 year 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. metre

    "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."

    And I am sure that Rick Perry is referring to the ultra-right-wing-conservative-"christian"-GOP-TeaParty-extremists that are attempting to force through this horrific bill right?! RIGHT?!
    Oh right. I forgot. Its verging on criminal if its the 'other' guy and perfectly ok if its them attempting to get what THEY want. Not hypocritical at all. "snark"

    July 1, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  2. ritmocojo

    Texas- Don't mess with Texas by imposing big-government-made laws and regulations, unless those pertain to women.

    July 1, 2013 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Bachewy

    Gov Perry – this IS democracy in action! You're confusing that with what you're doing – DICTATORSHIP.

    July 1, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. Tom Dooley

    This man is stark staring nuts.

    July 1, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  5. PoofyMan

    Every liberal baby should automatically be aborted unless they can prove they want it and can afford it. I'm so on board with women's rights. No more babies !

    July 1, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  6. tom l.

    "Pro-Lifers need to come up with a better argument besides GOD."

    Ok, I have another one. The Constitution is there to protect the weakest in our society. Who is weaker than an unborn baby?

    Again, I am pro-choice but I have taken the time to understand the other side.

    July 1, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  7. Bob

    So when it comes to something like same-sex marriage, it;s "the will of the people", but when it comes to abortion rights it's "mob rule"?

    July 1, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  8. mary

    I am against abortion..But I do think this is something that is private and should be between a woman, her doctor and her own sense of right or wrong..Her religion. etc.
    That being said..
    How can The GOP take away funds to planned parenthood.. Which leaves many more women with unwanted pregnancies..Cut funding for head start. Cut funding to school breakfast and lunch programs.. Cut every single program designed to nurture and help children. While assuring more children will be brought into this world and assures more will suffer once here.
    ~!
    It is nothing but hypocritical and has nothing to do with "caring" about children.
    I find the GOP despicable..
    this is not about caring about unborn children or children at all..

    July 1, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. mabel floyd

    mob rule? i did not hear a word from him when the evangelicals were paying homeless people to mob the women's clinics and moan and groan and yell and scream at women seeking medical help. selective definition of mob is always rather amusing.
    gov "opos" always tried to be the rhine stone cowboy and the religious icon and he is only a pathetic and disgusting and amoral "man"
    you go wendy!!! this is the first time i have been proud to live in texas in a very long time.

    July 1, 2013 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  10. GaryB

    So a single filibuster in Texas is mob rule? What does that make the record number of filibusters (or actually threatened filibusters) the Republicans have performed in the US Senate over the last four years? Sheer anarchy?

    July 1, 2013 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  11. Bob

    " chairman ruled she had gone off topic " How about a ruling saying the Texas legislature for the last few years has "gone off its rocker". Rewriting history books, voter suppression, tax hikes to the poor, tax breaks to the rich, denying health care to poor people (even when the state doesn't have to pay for it), electing Perry. I think there is plenty evidence for people to declare the Texas Senate unfit for duty.

    July 1, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  12. PandoraDoggle

    If you believe a legislature has the authority to ban abortion at 20 weeks but not before, your beliefs are not consistent. If you believe a gallery full of protestors interrupting the proceedings of the Texas Senate in violation of parliamentary rules is a democratic representation of the will of the people, your beliefs are not consistent.

    July 1, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  13. Gone

    Stay out of Texas. Your freedom depends the lord Rick.

    July 1, 2013 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  14. rational thought

    Here's a simple end to all of this, if you are against abortion, then don't have one! Problem solved!

    July 1, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  15. Poofywoman

    I'm opening my own clinic. Please come by. "Baby-fil-A". 100% effective AND woman approved. Actually it's democrat approved...but only real women are democrats anyways.

    July 1, 2013 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  16. QOTU

    Against Abortion? Don't have one. The people trying to pass an anti abortion act are arrogant religious extremists who want the whole world to bow to their particular form of moral tyranny. Welcome to the American Taliban. Soon they will be requiring women to wear habibs.

    July 1, 2013 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  17. sonkarlay

    They are only doing this to hurt the women of texas because their family have government health care wish is pay for by us and if their wives or daughters need abortion, they can take then to another states for that so they don't care about babies

    July 1, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  18. Gerri Brignac

    If Perry is the answer, how stupid is the question?

    July 1, 2013 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  19. Mona

    I can't for the life of me, figure out, why Rick Perry thinks it's his business to make decisions for my body???? When you are out of office "mob rule" will take over once again, and oops, so sorry Charlie you'll be returned to the can!!
    My body is my temple you shall not make decisions for it!

    July 1, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  20. Rosslaw

    The male members of the Texas State legislature should just get reinforcements and invite their boyfriends to help them keep that "mob" of women in line. Right-wing politicians seem to revel in what delicate little flowers they are. A pretty far cry from the Alamo.

    July 1, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  21. Norm

    The GOP sure does love job-killing regulation and putting Big Brother government between a woman and her doctor.

    July 1, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    "Pro-Lifers need to come up with a better argument besides GOD."

    Fine. My argument is that it's murder. Murder is against the law, whether you're religious, agnostic, or atheist. Just because a fetus cannot survive outside of the womb does not mean it's not alive.
    -------------------------------------
    Murder? When is it not murder? Should a line be drawn or not? If a fertilized egg is alive, then there may be some women out there unknowingly committing murder one month. Who decides when 20 weeks has passed? How do you measure it? 20 weeks could easily be twisted down to 18 or even 16 weeks, just on someone's say so.

    Perry doesn't even care if a mother's life is in danger. He wants an outright ban. Most all of the abortions performed after 20 weeks are done for medical reasons, not because the mother wants to murder an unborn child. Perry wants to take that away, along with most of the health clinics in the state. It's bad enough that he opted out of Obamacare, but know he's shutting down health clinics that used mainly by the poor, which is where the real Democratic objection lies.

    July 1, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. JD

    News flash, Governor Perry: that "unruly mob" you describe is democracy at work! You just happen to disagree with their point of view.

    July 1, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Lew

    I think there are legitimate arguements to be made on both sides of the abortion issue, but can we please stop with the hyperbolic "(Insert name of lawmaker here) Hates Women" signs. The hyperbole undermines the message.

    July 1, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  25. derp

    Texas is destined to turn itself into a third world theocracy.

    July 1, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
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