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. t3chn0ph0b3

    I saw that whole thing go down. The only democratic thing about that whole session was when the crowd shouted down the vote at the end. Perry is a total piece of crap theocrat. Disgusting.

    July 1, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  2. Jobu

    Wow! Did you know voters are really just a "mob"???
    Sounds like ANOTHER politician has forgotten who he answers to!

    July 1, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  3. USVET

    I've got one for the pro-lifers...are you willing to pay the medical and funeral expenses for a baby that is born with terminal birth defects? I can tell you from experience that 10 hours of Neo-natal ICU costs nearly $15,000 and an inexpensive funeral costs nearly $2000. One prospect is a young family who has to endure carrying a fetus to term despite knowing that it will die shortly after birth will be stuck with the expense. Another prospect is that they will have to go on public aid which will be paid for out of tax money. This doesn't even include the trauma of having to watch your new-born infant die or having to pick out the casket.

    My personal experience with pro-lifers is that they are arrogant, short-sighted, and have a lack of compassion for the real life issues most people deal with. There's an old saying about walking in someone else's shoes before making judgments. I've walked ion those shoes and Perry, Dewhurst, Laubenberg, and a host of other legislators have failed as representatives of the people.

    July 1, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. Ben in Ohio

    The song titled "This little child" as sung by Scott Wesley brown states "debating over disarmament, killing children before they're born. How sad and how true.

    July 1, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  5. Dave Dimmer

    what a crackpot

    July 1, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  6. sly

    Now Perry is againest the US Constitution, and the way our forefathers defined our government?

    We should have let this moron seceed from the US as he threatened if a black man was elected President.

    What a moron.

    July 1, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  7. rs

    So if the biggest thing in this bill is to prevent abortion after 20 weeks which, I believe is equivalent to 5 months (4 weeks / month) Then I am not sure what the big problem is. 5 months is plenty of time to make up your mind. It should be made up within the first week of you knowing you are pregnant. I think anything after the first 3 months (1st tri-mester) should have a very good reason for abortion... more than I just don't want to continue the pregnancy...
    ______________________________
    What about fatal birth defects, many of which occur at 20 weeks or later?

    July 1, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  8. Bill

    Democracy was the Supreme Court ruling on abortion – Perry doesn't like it so he wants his own form of democracy.

    July 1, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. Badly-Bent

    No more "mob rule?" Let's see here, how many pro-choice people have murdered anti-abortion people? Perry, you got it backwards!

    July 1, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  10. Brandyjack

    Since the Tea Party-Dixiecrat-Dixiecan ?Republicans? are not a true majority in Texas, or any other State. Rick Perry is no different than Egyptian President Morsi. Misusing the tools of Democracy to gain theocratic absolutism. Then, Hitler did the same thing. Guess people never learn.

    July 1, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. Native Texan

    I wish all voting Texans that feel the embarrassment of Ricky's remarks and good ole boy ways would stand up and vote against him in the next gov-election. No, he hasnt announced yet but he will – Its time for a change in Texas!

    July 1, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  12. carolina corpus

    If you'll want an abortion go look somewhere else and don't expect my tax money to pay for it either...so willing to open your legs but not willing to take responsability of what comes afterwords. I am against any kind of abortion, if you won't a baby keep your legs closed!!!!!

    July 1, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  13. cog in the wheel

    The item that irritates me the most is the fake claim that higher surgical standards are necessary to "protect women." That claim is out-and-out dishonest; its obvious what the real reason is for imposing those regulations.

    Perry has constantly been shown to be a hypocrite and less-than-truthful.

    July 1, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Badly-Bent

    Perry, you got it backwards.

    July 1, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  15. HoustonOilMan

    @Aerin
    What a HORRIBLE place Texas is!
    _______________________________________________________________________________________________
    No Texas is really a wonderful place, it just has a horrible Governor (and senators and congressmen)

    July 1, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  16. John

    As a Texan and predominantly conservative in my politics, I am disgusted with Governor Perry and his narcissistic attitude toward the majority in his state. I do not oppose abortion after 20 weeks, but the issue is bundling this legislature with a bunch of other measures and then suggesting people that oppose the overall bill oppose this specific point. It is politics as usual, hide a bunch of controversial measures in a bill, include one that if opposed is inflammatory and then use it to drive the real agenda. If abortion after 20 weeks is that important, let it stand on its own and not part of a much more restrictive bill.

    July 1, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. cal 818

    Proud to support my brother, an Austin resident. He participated in the shout down and was not "bussed in". The beauty of the shout down, if you read the news, is that it was not organized by a major group but a large, diverse group of people who care about women's rights. Go Steve, keep up the pressure.

    July 1, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Ctrygrl

    This is just so republican. Just like the NC legislature and governor claiming anyone who protests against them are outsiders when the people protesting are actually from NC not so with the governor, president of the senate and speaker of the house. When Mr. Perry claims this "improves" women's health care I wouldn't advise him to be outside. Lightning is bad in Texas.

    July 1, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. GI Joe

    Hmmmm – seems Perry is the Anarchist by closing off discussions and forcing his will on all people in Texas.

    July 1, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. USVET

    Mike – get some education on womens reproductive issues. Your mentally is obviously stick in the '50s. Medical facts don't validate the rhetoric of the pro-life movement. In fact, they refute it. Women can, and do, get pregnant despite the best birth control measures, short of complete abstinence. Churches continually preach: go forth and multiply". Churches continually preach women must submit to their husbands. Until religion gets out of politics, there will always be a fight for pro-choice.

    July 1, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    ego death, The point is not the waiting period. The biggest issue behind the waiting period is the closing of most or all of the Planned Parenthoods that so many women depend on.... It is cleverly hidden in the small print! Perry is a bully, he should put this up for a vote from the people of Texas.

    July 1, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  22. TLORop

    So intends to deprave these people of their right to free speech and their right to assemble.

    July 1, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    So said the governor of the state that has proudly averaged one execution per week for well over thirty years..

    July 1, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. Kerr Mudgeon

    Don't let these oppressive MEN take away your rights to reproductive health and control of your own bodies! Perry and cohorts are trying to take you back to the early 19th century – become the anarchists he accuses you of being – fight for your right to the pursuit of happiness as a woman. As a Texan transplanted to another state, this is making me weep for the women of my home state. Join Planned Parenthood and Cecile Richards in fighting this draconian legislation. Make Ann Richards proud of us all!

    July 1, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. ira

    Shame on Perry! Republicans the party of less government, give me a break!

    July 1, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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