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. John Hinge

    Need to stop the insanity of the pro-life movement. As a true fiscal conservative, you can't possibly be pro-life, because the large % of the abortions are had by the welfare class, exactly those who need to reproduce less. The pro-life people still think the abortions are being had by working women and college students! This isn't 1975 anymore!

    July 1, 2013 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  2. bla

    Democracy is suddenly "mob rule". You heard it here first folks!

    July 1, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    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?
    ------------------–
    I wasn't talking to you. I was talking about Rick "Slick Rick" Perry. He's the one who invoked GOD, last year when he pledged to end all abortions in Texas. The objections to the bill are not the 20 weeks, but the other stuff in it that closes down health clinics. Perry just wants to make the argument about the 20 weeks because he feels that he can win it.

    The law is purposely too vague on the 20 week issue, anyway. Doctors cannot accurately determine within two weeks when a pregnancy began. The determination is simply too opinionated. I can easily foresee people declaring every case that crosses their desk as being in excess of 20 weeks, which would amount to a full ban on all abortions.

    July 1, 2013 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  4. Snarky MacFee

    it is called democracy and they are voters–not a mob. How about a no more tyranny in Texas? Perry is a joke and a really bad and dangerous one at that.

    July 1, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  5. rs

    For those who disagree with this bill making abortion illegal past 20 weeks; at what point then would you draw the line at abortion? At 24 weeks when the fetus has a chance at being viable? 32 weeks when it's a little bigger. Or do you feel abortion should just be legal all the way to week 40?
    ______________________________
    Abortion- for whatever reason, is a perfectly legal procedure. It is a process that women choose to use hopefully in concert with her family, or physician. It should not be a process regulated by old men- especially those lacking in morals- politicians.

    July 1, 2013 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. Yvonne Edelman

    Governor Perry – This is not MOB RULE – This is living in a DEMOCRACY where people are not log rolled into legislation that only is supported by a few narrow minded zealots. You are not dictator, sir – you are supposed to represent the people. Apparently you don't realize that fact.

    July 1, 2013 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. steve

    Prolife!!!!! Prolife!!!!! That is until birth and then good luck. You and your mother have become a burden on society.

    July 1, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. Grahame Rhodes

    @ Martha Anmi It's just a blob of tissue

    July 1, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Phyllis Gwendoline Williams

    ABORTION is MURDER. Human beings answer to God if they do not Repent (Jeremiah 1: 5 ; Psalm 139: 13-16)

    July 1, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. Rick

    There has always been something both sad and sinister about this man. Equating democratic action by those he disagrees with as "mob rule" is just another example of this. Both by demonizing his opponents and displaying complete ignorance for the system he is supposed to be a professional in. This is also the same man who when questioned about his lack of police objectives during the election said that it wasn't fair since he did not have as much time to think about them as Romney, and couldn't remember what departments he would cut, and did what every he could to help an innocent man be executed (See Cameron Todd) so he could look strong on crime. I am so grateful that he lost the presidential primary election, and I hope what is going on in Texas now puts a permanent end to his political career.

    July 1, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Constitutional Scholar

    If (a) "life" truly begins at conception, (2) a "child" is created at conception and (3) a mother has the right to give a child up for adoption and to give up all parental legal rights and responsibiliites, then perhaps the solution to the abortion debate is to allow for the mother to give up her "child" for adoption at any time after conception. Modern medicine can take over and nurture that "child" as it develops – on society's dime. Why should a mother who wants to put up her "child" for adotption only be able to do so after the 40 week gestational period is over? If you want to define "child" as at the time of conception, then shouldn't a mother be able to give up the "child" at conception?

    July 1, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. rs

    Rational Thought, the problem with that logic is that while it's the mother having the abortion, it's not the mother that's being aborted.
    ___________________________
    True enough, but you can't turn every woman in Texas into a second-class citizen based upon that.

    July 1, 2013 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  13. Rkwnned

    Funny that this bill would effectively close down abortion clinics that are not open 24/7. Isn't that exactly what the pro choice crowd want? Why aren't they protesting that the clinics aren't open at their beg and call?

    July 1, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  14. Glauber

    Dudes just can't stand the idea of a woman being able to make decisions about her own reproductive organs.

    July 1, 2013 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. GinnyG

    I vaguely remember learning about The Shot Heard Round the World in grade school. It was later defined as the Battles of Lexington & Concord - the 1st battles of our Revolutionary War to gain independence from Britain. The Brits probably looked at that act as unruly. The Civil Right's Marchs of the 50s & 60s could also be called unruly. Gov. Perry had better take a crash course in American history. If we the people believe in something strong enough, we will voice our opinion. Last time I checked, it was my 1st Amendment right - freedom of speech.

    July 1, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  16. Michael

    Martha Anmi asked:
    "For those who disagree with this bill making abortion illegal past 20 weeks; at what point then would you draw the line at abortion?"

    I might ask you the same question. When is it acceptable for a woman to have the right to choose? Yet I already know what you would answer. The fact of the matter is, this is just a way for a criminal like Perry to try to bypass Roe v. Wade. He can't do so by making abortion illegal, so he'll start making it illegal at an arbitrary point and then keep chipping away at it from there until women have lost their rights on this matter all together.

    And it's funny that he says no more mob rule, since mob rule is exactly what he's pushing for here.

    July 1, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  17. Fair is Fair

    "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."
    ------–
    I believe life begins at conception. I also believe that science proves this more and more every day that passes.

    July 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  18. Another Man Without A Uterus

    Mob rule? Is he kidding? It's call DEMOCRACY... a concept that he should be reminded that it is his duty to uphold while serving a public office. The real problem occurs when a minority mob of zealots like Perry try and dictate what the rest of us can and cannot do legally most especially including a women's right to choose and have access to adequate women's reproductive health care.

    July 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  19. DrEvill007

    Texas is a Republic not a Democracy. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for dinner. Perry is 100% right; the mob disrupted the legal functioning of the Government. Those who support democracy should remember that one day you will be the sheep who loses the vote.

    July 1, 2013 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  20. Pete Perry

    I've never understood the argument of a woman's right to control health of her body while at same time no mention health for the unborn in her womb. I mean, these radical abortion rights activists literally ignore right for the unborn to live.

    July 1, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  21. Blinky

    Here in Texas its the peoples will when they agree with Perry and Dewhurst but its mob rule when we show up and say no. But the is Texas after all and the best politics money can buy.

    July 1, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Closing up clinics is going to drive those people into hospital emergency rooms, which drives up the cost for everyone.

    July 1, 2013 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  23. bob

    that pesky majority er mob rule eh perry? yeah if only the 5 people who agreed with you were the only voters, then you'd get what's right! hahahahahahahaha. hahaha. just secede already.

    July 1, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  24. Just Call Me Lucifer

    I'll be setting up free bus rides to the nearest out of state abortion clinic for any woman that wants an abortion after twenty weeks who lives in the state of Texas. Gov. Perry is trying to take my job as the most evil. That won't happen.

    July 1, 2013 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  25. Djones

    I just don't believe a man has the right to tell a woman what to do with her body. Point, Blank, Period.

    July 1, 2013 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
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