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. JakeF

    Mob rule? You mean the democratic process?

    July 1, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. DaveM

    Governor Parry and the Republican-led State Legislature are not governing Texas. They are dictating their will to Texas. They are imposing their own extreme beliefs on Texas with little or no concern for the people of Texas and the consequences of their actions. Even conservative Texans should be concerned about this heavy-handedness. You need an new governor and new legislature who listens to the will of the people.

    July 1, 2013 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. impact0900

    Yup, no more mob rule, instead lets replace it with right wing, Evangelical fanatic rule.

    July 1, 2013 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  4. Feekoningin

    There are two problems with Perry's statement: 1) The "mob" he criticizes likely contains some of the people who elected him and who according to the U.S. and likely the Texas constitutions have the right to voice their opinions. 2) He said that the voice of Texans will be heard. Well, presumably, those were the voices of Texans. He may find out that the will of the people simply doesn't parallel his own will. And as good leader, he should be willing to understand and respect that.

    July 1, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  5. mhub

    Here, mob rule is pushed by the Christian Right, but this governor won't recognize that.

    July 1, 2013 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  6. John

    @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.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    The irony is, with their policies against abortion and against entitlement programs they create a voter base that ensures they will not remain in office – just as we are seeing today at a national level.

    July 1, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  7. Steven Colo

    Curse that pesky will of the people.

    July 1, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Mathew Keirinsky

    Mob rule = First amendment

    July 1, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  9. jenncoolva

    Mr. Perry you are destroying the republican party and fueling those coming over to the rational fair minded approach of the Democrats. If YOU refuse to hear your own constituent's voices then you should remove yourself from office immediately. You CANNOT be both pro life and execute people. 500 inmates since 1982 to be exact. HYPOCRITES! Put PLEASE PROCEED... Cannot wait until November comes and kicks your party OUT! We have to suffer you until January 2015 and suffer we will...

    July 1, 2013 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. CosmicC

    Better anarchy than theocracy.
    That said, a filabuster is not mob rule. It's a tool provided to prevent the majority from imposing their will without regard for minority rights.

    July 1, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. Dan M

    What a jerk Perry is...

    July 1, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. Rudy NYC

    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.
    -----------------
    So, how come 19 weeks would not be murder? Or even 9 weeks? What about 9 days or 9 hours? I believe that the bill Perry wants to pass not only regulates abortions after 20 weeks, but it outrights bans them under any circumstance.

    Gov. Perry is being a slick politician, though. He's trying to make the debate about "20 weeks", instead of the other amendments attached to the bill that so many of the Democrats oppose.

    July 1, 2013 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  13. Chris

    Democrats seem to talk about the 'rights' of people, but they sure do like to kill babies don't they? How about making it a law that if a woman chooses to murder an unborn infant that they have permanent and non-reversible operations that will forever end their reproduction abilities? Oh, I forgot, Dems won't like taking a "liberty" away from someone will they? Then how about applying the liberty of life to an unborn?

    July 1, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. D

    I agree. abortions should not happen after 20 weeks. now if the mother's life is threatened, is it morally right to save her life over the child's? ask yourself how would you feel knowing you terminated your child. if you ask a lot of women who have gone through the act, a piece of them is never whole again.

    this goes back to the ?, is a child alive when it is conceived and if abortion is appropriate outside of medical reasoning. the mother may the problem again and again. who is anyone out there to judge except God and the parents. NO ONE

    July 1, 2013 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. Mike

    Just adopt the same abortion rules as are in effect in France.

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

    Perry said the "absolute anarchy that we saw in the last 15 minutes in the Senate chamber (was) not appropriate or normal."

    Gee, you think that might have been a sign of some kind??
    As you failed to understand last week "them screaming louder" does NOT mean you're doing a good job!
    Close that slack jaw, wipe off those dull, glassy eyes & try to fire up enough extra brain cells to follow along:
    What you're pushing is also "not appropriate or normal"!!!

    This is a bill sponsored by an idiot Evangelical woman who doesn't know a rape kit from a contraceptive, and Gov Perry defends it by preaching about life & protecting women – meanwhile he's executing women prisoners & deliberately making it virtually impossible for Texan women to access the LEGAL medical procedure they may need for any number of potentially life-saving reasons. The hypocrisy and utter stupidity is simply astounding.

    People are "unruly" because the TX GOP are trying to ram this through by breaking the rules, holding secret/special sessions, pushing a religious agenda, ignoring their constituents, and ignoring the actual medical impacts it will have on real people. It's not about 20wks vs 24wks, it's about effectively shutting down nearly every clinic in a state that also mandates failed "abstinence-only" sex-ed, and has consistently maintained one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the nation. It's a state that has refused to expand Medicaid to low-income families who will bear the brunt of this new legislation. TX Republicans clearly have no business making policy affecting people & practices they know nothing about.

    ... They're also apparently too stupid to realize that most of those unwanted/unhealthy kids and/or unwilling parents who will result from this change will wind up voting Democrat & putting these cavemen out of office. Good riddance.

    July 1, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. Lainie11

    When there is no respect for life at the very beginning with the most indefensible, the result is no respect for life at any stage.

    July 1, 2013 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  18. Lainie11

    Governor Perry is a gentleman of the highest order. He respects life from its infancy, therefore is protecting women's health more than anybody else.

    July 1, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. Lord Yabu

    Where in Texas can I sign up to kill babies ! Wow. What's not to like. Now I can legally vent my psychopathic tendencies AND help my party of choice ... the democrats. You guys are the bomb. If you ask me...let's not stop there. :)

    July 1, 2013 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. packed13

    I'm a Texan. My wife is a Texan. My children are all Texans. My family members actually help found first the Republic, and later the State of Texas. We fought at the Alamo, at Goliad, and finally at San Jacinto: and today I am ashamed. I am ashamed that my home state, the same on that my family has bled, and sometimes died for; is allowing this joke of a governor to make a mockery out of us all.

    I am anti-abortion and pro-choice (and no that is not a contradiction in terms). As a human being, and as a man, I cannot and will not restrict a woman's right to choose. Her body does not belong to me, it belongs to her. It is paramount to the government telling me that after I have 2 children I will be receive a vasectomy. The government does not have that right; not for men, and not for women either.

    The only thing Perry's bill will do is to set women back to the 1950's, make criminals out of doctors, and doctors out of criminals. Get ready for back-alley, illegal, coat hanger abortions resulting in dead women, and scores of mangled and scarred women who's only "crime" is to choose what happens to their own bodies.

    This is what is run with the Republican party of today. The "Leadership" (and I use that term loosely) thinks they know what is best for the people, instead of listening to the people themselves. Of course the Democratic parry is not better. It is high time that our representatives remember two things: 1) their job is to represent. And 2) They work for us.

    And before anyone goes off, in addition to being a Texan, a Veteran, a college graduate, a registered voter, and a taxpayer – I am actually a Republican.

    I say Texas should not secede from the Union. Texas should force Perry to secede from Texas.

    July 1, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. afmcalax

    The Ayatollah Perry has spoken. The Republicans are well on their way to making women 2nd class humans and citizens again. The religious right will not stop until there oppressive bigotry trumps the Constitution.

    July 1, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. KatyQ

    Mr. Perry is saying that anyone who lives in Texas and disagrees with his position does not qualify to be called a Texan.

    "Regardless of whether there is a vocal opposition...Texans and their views will prevail," he said.

    Mr. Perry is carrying on the Bush tradition – "you're either with me or against everything that is good." Having a one-dimensional caricature for a governor harms the entire United States.

    July 1, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. Sam

    Whenever a man oppose a woman's right to choose – I remember the line from Friends sitcom where Rachel says to Ross: "hey...no uterus no opinion [on the issue of pregnancy]"

    July 1, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  24. NKBL

    No more mob rule, the American taliban has spoken.

    July 1, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. MashaSobaka

    "The mob" is usually what conservatives call constituents when they don't get their way. I'm crying great big tears for you, Mr. Perry. Let me whip out my violin and play you a sad sad song.

    July 1, 2013 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
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