Perry blames abortion rights activists for 'absolute anarchy'
July 1st, 2013
12:13 PM ET
7 years 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. ParanoidAndroid

    For the sake of argument, let's just assume that abortion is murder. Having an abortion then would carry the same penalty as murder. Both Doctor and Mother would be brought to trial and tried for murder one (this would be premeditated, intentional murder). If found guilty, then they could receive the highest possible sentence, which in many states such as California and Texas, would be the death penalty. Not taking a normative view on this, but lets just think about what we are saying when throwing out a "baby killer" comment and whether our society would be willing to execute someone (or sentence them to life in prison) for an abortion.

    July 1, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Too long in the Texas sun.

    July 1, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  3. Martha Anmi

    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? I'd love to hear responses and your rationale. And please don't give that "it's just a blob of tissue" answer. Anyone who has at least a High School education knows better.

    July 1, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  4. alf564

    Perry is a first class jerk, no matter what political party you belong too.

    July 1, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  5. Shuffler

    Like a bunch of kids except the folks on one side would kill the kids.
    Odd that so much is being heaped on Perry when obviously there are many who feel the same.

    July 1, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  6. moishe goldberg

    If this putz had any chance of ever becoming president he can forget it. Republicans claim for years that the government is too involved in peoples business. BUT- they won't take their noses out of everyone's bedroom.

    July 1, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  7. Martha Anmi

    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.

    July 1, 2013 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  8. bikermiker

    I just don't get it – the 'Conservative', 'Right Wing', party keeps saying that 'less government is better'! We want smaller government!, etc, etc. Then why the heck is this the same party that wants to tell everyone how to live their personal lives? Get the government out of people's personal decisions, personal bedroom habits, personal relationship choices and focus on GOVERNING not DICTATING!

    July 1, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  9. bs1

    Only fully independent beings have rights, a fetus which is a parasitic state does not. I believe in abortion on demand, no questions asked right up until labor. I also believe in much stronger protections for children to protect them from abuse such as religious brainwashing. Oh, and I'm a Texan and I vote.

    July 1, 2013 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  10. Constitutional Scholar

    The protests at the Texas capital appear to be a legitimate exercise of an individual's first amendment right to freedom of speech. Unless and until I see al "time, manner, place" regulation that is content-neutral, it appears that Governor Perry is trying to pick-and-choose the content of speech to his liking.

    Also . . . we have read over these many years how there are anti-abortion groups who have advocated the murder of physicians who perform abortions. And Governor Perry is complaining about throngs of people who are choosing to participate in the process? I hope that he is not suggesting that the protesters should mimic the extreme views of some anti-abortion groups.

    July 1, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  11. Chris

    Approximately 1//2 of babies are female so preventing abortions is a plus for (future) women isn't it, just as it is for (future) men. Take care of babies because they surely can't take care of themselves, it's an obligation for every mother and father.

    July 1, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  12. Ken

    The 20 week rule is not that much of an issue. The vast majority of abortions happen before 20 weeks. The issue is all the other stuff in the bill. What Perry was referring to with "the legislation does more for women who are having an abortion by requiring higher medical standards to be put in place. "
    The "higher medical standards" are nothing of the sort but merely additional regulations designed for no other purpose than to drive up the cost of doing business for abortion providers, thereby forcing most of them out of business.

    July 1, 2013 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  13. Ken

    Let the mob rule! Democracy at its finest.

    July 1, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  14. One L

    What I don't like about this bill is it will reduce the number of clinics from 42 to 5 – in a state as large as TX, how can poor women get access? I'm concerned about the fairness. However, I have no problem with the 20 week rule – women have more than enough time make up their minds, I think it's a fair compromise. It's not like women are not given a choice PERIOD.

    July 1, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  15. LouAZ

    Only mob is Parry's Gang of Christian Taliban in the Tejas Senate. Seems there is no real Seperation of Powers between the Administrative and Congressional Branches of Tejas State Government(sic). Parry says JUMP, and his Gang responds HOW HIGH, Massah ?

    July 1, 2013 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  16. Sherri

    I am Christian and I believe in pro-choice. Why? Because no one should be able to tell a woman that they have to carry and birth their baby. I don't believe that abortion should be a "birth control", but by closing down Planned Parenthood, that is what they are making it (because a lot of women go to PP for this and all women's health). I am pro-woman and spent most of my life in Texas. It's time for the good ole boy club to cease and desist there – they are no longer wanted nor needed.

    July 1, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. LetsSeeWhatHappens

    Mr. Perry wants to live in the time of "Mad Men" or perhaps becoming a radical Muslim would be more to his liking since women are just property. He is one of the privileged elite. If his daughter needed an abortion – she would go overseas and get it. He is only punishing those who are not like him and his ilk. He cut from the "do as I say, not as I do" mould of so many others.

    I am a native Texan, pro-choice and pro-life. Once again, those are NOT mutually exclusive terms.

    I am frustrated that moderate is still a 'dirty word' in the extremist political climate we are currently experiencing. No one wants to compromise or negotiate...they all cling to their narrow views and we still have the gridlock in place – prohibiting all movement.

    July 1, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |

    Perry should run for Congressman that way with him in the House with Louie Gohmert Texas would have TWEEDLE-DUM and TWEEDLE-DUMBER.

    July 1, 2013 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Juxtapoz

    Texas keeps electing this clown, and giving the rest of the country more reasons to wonder why we fought a civil war to keep them here. Just let the Mexican drug cartels overrun the place and be done with it. We can find oil elsewhere.

    July 1, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  20. Brian

    Rick Perry and his ilk are a direct threat to the freedoms average citizens have taken for granted since WWII. Despite what the GOP says, they want no parts of an immigration bill. Giving a pathway to citizenship kills their ability to hire cheap illegal labor. They want to do away with abortion so it allows them to replenish soliers in the army, most of whom come from poor and uneducated areas. Get 'em cheap, keep 'em dumb and keep 'em coming. That's the slogan for the GOP. Traitors to our democracy.

    July 1, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. John Hinge

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

    July 1, 2013 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. felix

    How about Roe vs Wade? The Supreme court legalized abortion. All these little bills just chip away at it.

    July 1, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. James

    If you think that abortion should be legal because an unborn fetus does not qualify as a human being, you are wrong, because there is no meaningful evidence to support this view.

    If you think that abortion should be illegal because an unborn fetus does qualify as a human being, you are wrong, because there is no meaningful evidence to support this view.

    Science has not yet afforded us the insight into what, how, or when a mass of discriminating cells transitions into the emergence of a discrete life form. Because this is true, anybody who claims insight into this is wrong. Everybody with a firm opinion is wrong.

    If you support abortion, you're wrong. If you're against it, you're wrong. It's time to abandon this meaningless frivolity of a debate and apply our scientific and technological expertise in search of the objective truth, as opposed to continuously indulging ourselves in our own hard-headed, moralistic ideas.

    July 1, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  24. alf564

    Democracy has been dead in Texas since Rick was elected Gov. Shouldn't he have resigned to run for President?

    July 1, 2013 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  25. amanda james

    You kill your babies.

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