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. yeahItsMe72

    The Right to Life is really a poor name for the anti abortion movement. A more accurate description is 'Against women having access to proper medical care' platform.

    Before Roe v Wade women still got abortions, they just had them in back alleys. Whenever you're reading old books and they mention a woman dying in child birth, that's a euphemism for botched abortion.

    Abortion rights are about giving women who choose to get an abortion access to proper medical care. Actually preventing women from getting them is impossible... always has been.

    In a democratic state you cannot legislate behavior. I understand pro-life people view abortion as murder, but the abortions happen either way, it's a moot point. So give women access to proper medical care. It's the only option a humane society would come to.

    The alternative is just to try to humiliate or punish women by forcing them to unsafe procedures during what can often be a desperate time for them.

    July 1, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  2. o

    Jer 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

    July 1, 2013 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Uh-Clem

    Sounds a lot more like the pot calling the kettle black.

    July 1, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  4. Uh-Clem

    Or, to quote Mr. Perry, "If they are howling we must be doing something right!"

    July 1, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  5. Dorkus Maximus

    Rick Perry believes people have a right to firearms in order to protect themselves from an overbearing government, but he doesn't believe they have the right to shout in protest to protect themselves from an overbearing government.

    July 1, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  6. Yem

    What is happening in America? It is men who are deciding about a woman's body.

    July 1, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  7. Pete/Ark

    mob" ... republican for "the people".

    July 1, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  8. midnitejax

    Awww, Poor Rick Perry can't take the fact that his Fascism was over ruled by "anarchy". He must never use the word decorum in a sentence ever. His sleazy tactic of a secret vote behind closed doors leaves him out of the qualification for "decorum" as a word in his vocabulary.

    July 1, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. Vyncent

    "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.""
    -from the arcticle

    A couple of points: first, the unruly mob – how is this different from the GOP in the US House of Representatives not allowing a vote on issues they don't have a majority on. Because that sounds like a mob, ruly or un-, keeping democracy from occurring quite literally, as they are blocking a democratic vote.

    Second, the "unruly mob" might not have had to do what it did had the bill's proponents not tried to be incredibly shady by ending the filibuster for going "off topic" by discussing Planned Parenthood. Because we all know that Planned Parenthood has nothing to do with abortions. Especially how the GOP never associates the organization with abortions, despite it being a tiny fraction of what they do.

    Third: oh yeah. Lets not forget how the bill's proponents then attempted to commit fraud by changing the time on the court records.

    So yeah. Perry, you can call another session and ram this bad law through, but please don't try and convince us that you are the paragon on democracy and all it stands for.

    July 1, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  10. Jessica

    Perry and his party have NO Right to dictate OUR Choices!

    July 1, 2013 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  11. FactChecker

    The people are "mobs". Medical organizations are liars. So Perry will rely on science - like rapes are very unlikely to cause pregnancy because a woman's body just naturally shuts it down. Welcome to Texas.

    July 1, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  12. iceload9

    The sad state of the GOP, "special sessions" to force through their agenda. Generalisimo Perry running his banana republic.

    July 1, 2013 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  13. Diesel

    So the point of this article is that Rick Perry is trying to be a dictator.

    July 1, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  14. enough

    once again another party of stupid gov. telling women we want smaller govt that wont intrude into your life except when we want to tell you how to live your life Time to throw them all out I am against abortion but I also do NOT have the right to tell someone else how to live their life,

    July 1, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  15. ge

    its not about abortions its about closing clinics –its about private hospitals and profit.just try to tell me republican women don,t get abortions

    July 1, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  16. Mike L

    Abortion is murder!

    July 1, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  17. Guest

    Any woman who has carried a baby for 9 months knows it is murder to end the life of an unborn child.

    July 1, 2013 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  18. Carol

    Those men get women pregnant and then blame the woman for being upset and wanting an abortion. So those men want to hurt the woman even more by subjecting her to physical abuse while pregnant. Why don't men just keep it in their pants?

    July 1, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  19. ltinny

    Since when is protesting in America considered "mob rule?" I question leaders who do not give people choices, does not sound like a democracy to me.

    July 1, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  20. Michael

    It's not going to matter what he says, if the same thing happens as last week, short of forcibly removing them, which could get ugly, there is no way they can stop it.

    July 1, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  21. aaron

    No wonder Perry is irate. Citizens are engaging in the legislative process, keeping the well-bribed legislators from imposing the will of their financial benefactors on the population. That's something that politicians can't bear to endure.....the public having a say in a supposed democracy.

    July 1, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  22. Truthis

    As a child I loved cowboy movies and wanted to be one. I felt that way all my life until I got to know Rick Perry. No more cowboy stories for me.

    July 1, 2013 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  23. John

    ED, If you think raising the standards on these clinics is appropriate, how about your urologist having to have his office have the same standards and your visits to him or her be raised to cover those costs? Fair or not as you and others decry the rising costs of healthcare.

    July 1, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. san

    lots of work and tax payer money to pass a law that will not hold up in court

    July 1, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  25. JiminNM

    Truth no longer matters anymore. We are disintegrating into a totally evil world.

    July 1, 2013 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
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