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. Go Texas

    Too bad polls show most texan women stand for the 20 week rule. Abortions after 20 weeks should be strictly regulated as to only if the woman's life is in danger. Otherwise it's murder. Period.

    July 1, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. rosaadriana

    I see a lot of the commenters are not familiar with the bill. The problem in not the restriction on late term abortions, the problem is the bogus clinic requirements that will close 30 or 37 clinics in the state.

    July 1, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. DG

    5 months is a long time to wait to decide to have an abortion! And even if you find out the baby has birth defects after that, you are going to say, well it's not perfect so I don't want it? Doesn't that make you a murderer at that point? I think this law is well within reason, I'm sure there would be exceptions if necessary. Calm down people and get a job! Look how many people are out in that square in the middle of a Monday afternoon, don't you have any job to go to?

    July 1, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. DianeL

    I am stuck with the rear end of a mule as a governor because the people in this state won't vote him out. I have never liked him and never voted for him but alas I was out voted so I'm stuck. Leaving Texas isn't a viable option, and apparently he is so egotistical he doesn't even realize he's seen as a joke in the rest of the country. Someone please make him an offer he can't refuse.

    July 1, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  5. booklover

    @ego_death: many women often do not know they are pregnant until well into their 4th month, due to being young, uneducated, irregular cycles, etc. It is easy to get to 14 or 16 weeks and be clueless. It's not easy to just jump on a bus the day after you get a positive test and get an abortion performed. Also, most prenatal testing is done around 16-20 weeks, and if there is a severe issue, often the results do not come back until right around week 20. Remember, there are 40 calculated weeks in a pregnancy, so 20 weeks is really barely half way there since the first two weeks of that 40 are calculate BEFORE you conceive. Bottom line, though – govt should not have a say to what a woman does with her body.

    July 1, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    No more speaking by the people.

    He will bring in his State Troopers to "mob rule" so he gets his way.

    Texas – get rid if this oppressive person.

    July 1, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  7. John

    @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 hasn't announced yet but he will – Its time for a change in Texas!
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________
    I am standing in that line...

    July 1, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  8. amanda james

    So said the mob of people wanting to execute their babies.

    July 1, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. bill

    perry is an idiot. he actually makes dubya and palin seem smart

    July 1, 2013 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  10. MaryM

    I see ol' Gov Perry and the republicans are against the 1st Amendment for women now. also. Republicans, you want to know why you lost the Majority of the American Womens vote in 2012. Take a good hard look and Gov Perry and the majority republican legislators in Texas. Remember, American Women vote and at a higher % then men.

    Stop the republicans war on American Women now, or face the consequences at the ballot box. The Women of American will not tolorate you any longer

    July 1, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  11. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    Hmm... Aren't some abortions a consequence of a memory lapse or an "Opps" moment? I would think Rick Perry might be a bit more understanding...

    July 1, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Theocracy alive & well in Texas.

    July 1, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  13. Texasmike

    No more mob rule? Not unless it's led by the Texas Taliban, huh?

    July 1, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  14. DocHollywood

    Perry intends to arm all the republican legislatures and give the order to shoot on sight. "We'll show everyone we respect every single life even if we have to kill those who oppose if we have to. After all, we respect every life so much already that we're frying 'em in the prisons left and right."

    July 1, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  15. GI Joe

    I think this is about closing health care facilities for the poor women in Texas. After all, poor people don't vote for republicans. Right Perry?

    Bring in your State Police to use YOUR force against the poor that don't donate to your campaign.

    July 1, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    Rudy NYC

    So said the governor of the state that has proudly averaged one execution per week for well over thirty years..
    ------------------------
    Check that. They've averaged one execution PER MONTH, not per week.

    July 1, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. USVET

    Back in the '70s a doctor recommended that a woman whose 6 month old fetus had died in utero carry it inside her until her body aborted it naturally or her life was eventually placed at risk due to septic disease caused by the dead fetus. This was a real life case experienced by someone I knew. How many women will be placed in similiar circumstances becasue most of the abortion clinics close?

    July 1, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "I can not stomach those who are so against abortion while also being against food stamps, affordable healthcare, and affordable education for those same 'children' they seem to care so much about ... right up until they are born. Upon birth, these little lives that are so important to morons like this, suddenly become the very cause of all our problems in this country."

    But that's the whole point. They want to create the societal pressure to stop certain groups from reproducing.

    July 1, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  19. asdrel

    The biggest issue isn't necessarily the 20 week limitation. It is the extreme requirements for clinics and doctors that would effectively shut down most of the facilities where abortions are performed that is the major problem with this bill. It has been cleverly crafted to attempt to prevent virtually all abortions in the state.

    July 1, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  20. Keith

    Rick Perry is a lying sack of garbage who couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it. He is a perfect example of a plutocrat who refuses to recognize the difference between being a politician and a ruler.

    July 1, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. Lobo

    Petty oops perry has really led a sheltered life hasn't he, his absolute anarchy description of a loud mostly orderly but determined to voice there opinions somehow harks to time when marionettes held dainty napkins to there nose's to hide the foul stench of there own bodies. perry for president of the ladies home journal.

    July 1, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. The Real Tom Paine

    Well, he rode the turmoil and mob violance that the Tea Party unleashed on the country with absolute joy when he ran for re-election in 2010. Strange how someone with so much statehouse experience can have so little tolerance for the process when it bogs down one of his pet desires. Regardless of the outcome, I hope he runs for President in 2016, since he will provide both his GOP primary opponants and the Democratic nominee with literally years of gaffes, blunders and outright ignorance for them to picnic on.

    July 1, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. Calcommuter

    Anarchy? Really, Rick? Instead it's a Republican Senate and a Governor in a fascist state telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies without caring what the people want. Not to mention putting many people out of work because of your delisional beliefs. Have fun because this will be your last job in politics, other than oil lobbyist of course.

    July 1, 2013 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. tom l.

    Just so some of the crazies with their inane "war on women" chatter understand better, many people are pro life that has absolutely nothing to do with religion. They believe that the Constitution is there to protect the weakest American and what is weaker than an unborn baby?

    I am pro choice but at least I have taken the time to listen and understand the other side. I think that is sage advice for Dutch, Sniffit, Dominican, Lynda, rs and all of the other lefties here. It might make you a happier person and take some of your hate away. Take the time to listen to the other side rather than scream and make inane comments. And I want to be clear that I think Rick Perry has been terrible with regards to this issue. Terrible.

    July 1, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  25. somone

    you know what's shameful? a mob of random people from special interest groups and one side of a very divisive issue shouting down a legally elected legislature so they can't vote on a bill. it's bad enough you people had to resort to filibusters and other "tricks" to try to protect your "right" to murder your own children.... but to completely avoid the democratic process by literally SHOUTING OUT democracy? shame upon shame.

    July 1, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
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