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. DBT

    Shame on Perry for using name calling to get his way, instead of encouraging meaningful discussion of the issue.

    July 1, 2013 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  2. moo

    I am for my right to do what I believe is right of me. I would love if no one ever needed an abortion but they do. Most of these fetuses are not wanted, we have thousands of children that needs homes. Help the children that are already born and leave my body out of your laws.

    July 1, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    I believe life begins at conception. I also believe that science proves this more and more every day that passes.
    Wouldn't that be before a fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall? What about when a woman's natural cycles sweep the fertilized egg away before it can attach? Shouldn't that be murder, too?

    No, what this law is designed to do is to stop all abortion. Someone is going to sit behind a desk and declare that in their "professional opinion" that every woman that comes before them is past 20 weeks. They think they're slick, but they cannot fool me.

    July 1, 2013 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. Revolution

    What's the difference between new town killings. I thought if we could save one life that's all that mattered! Lol I think we will keep our assault rifles !

    July 1, 2013 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Chief P

    Wow. I can remember when politicians represented the people. Now the Gov calls those trying to get their voices heard instead of run roughshod over by his silliness and petty egotism are called names. How come when Rand Paul or Ted Cruz fillibusters they are true Americans but when Sen Davis tries it she is a lowly female with no sense of "fair play." We Texans are getting sillier and sillier if our Gov and Tea Bag state reps are any indication. Another thing. They are definitely not pro life. They just want the kids born. Then they give a crap about their "life."

    July 1, 2013 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  6. Oracle

    Perhaps the liberals here need to read the article. Perry wasn't referring to Democracy when he used the term "mob rule", we was referring to the protestors in the viewing gallery. Anti-Life protestors are still free to protest, just outside the voting chamber.

    July 1, 2013 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  7. moo

    Oh and Rick Perry is a big fat jerk who seems to think he's God. Hes not. Hes just a bully and mean. Kick his butt out of Texas. He should be the one on the run not Mr. Snowden. I respect honesty and Perry doesn't seem to have an honest bone in his body.

    July 1, 2013 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. MTFF

    Hey, Perry, why don't you call your pal Erdogan in Turkey. He dislikes mob rule, too. You could maybe borrow some tear gas or Agent Orange and just get rid of those demonstrators because we don't want a DEMOCRACY interfering with your dictatorship, do we?

    July 1, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. TD

    Lynching is against the law has been for a while. Murder is against the law has been for a while. Abortion, kills a living human being but is not against the law? Do what you want with your body, but murder is against the law and your fetus has rights. Don't want to get pregnant get some birth control.

    July 1, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  10. ge

    texas looks more like afganistan then a state in the usa

    July 1, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  11. Wondering

    Just wondering where Pro Life supporters stand on the death penalty? Texas just conducted it's 500th execution. Men and women as well as mentally challenged individuals. Are Pro Life supporters outraged by the death penalty? I understand that the view is often the innocence of a baby vs. the guilt of a horrific crime but can someone guarantee that all 500 people that have been executed were 100% guilty? If abortion is a religious issue for you then wouldn't the death penalty be as well? Just curious.

    July 1, 2013 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  12. GBfromOhio

    The Taliban doesn't allow women to make reproduction rights decisions either.

    July 1, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  13. Troglodytes Entertaining All

    Today's GOP is a domestic terrorist organization... They terrorize women, gays, minorities, atheists and anyone else who doesn't conform to their beliefs.

    July 1, 2013 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  14. mike c

    Perry and Dewhurst are just mad because they know more people of Texas supports women's rights and they weren't able to push this over on us. They'll keep trying....

    July 1, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  15. chris

    So a fetus after 20 weeks is not a life, and can be just flushed away. Those people who believe this are the ones who need help.

    July 1, 2013 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  16. Lew

    Actually!!!!! The real question is how do pro-Choicers feel about the death penalty??????????????????????? Are they for it or against it? I cant wait to hear the double standard spin doctors dance around this question.

    July 1, 2013 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  17. CJ

    Many horrific abnormalities can not be detected until after 20 weeks. The previous 24 week ban was sufficient. The biggest problem with this bill is the burden is places on clinics that perform abortions. For example, it says that physicians her perform abortions must have admitting privileges at a hospital within a 30 mile radius. Many hospitals won't give a physician admitting priviledges unless they admit at least 10 patients a year. One clinic in TX said they had only transferred two patients to a local hospital in the last 10 years. It also makes the facility meet certain unnecessary construction features like increase hall width. This is all being done under the guise of making it safer and healthier for women but it's a very thin guise. Many have bragged that the purpose was to shut down the clinics entirely.

    TX already has one of the highest teenage pregnancy rates in the country and the highest repeat teenage pregnancy rate. "Texas is heaven if you're a man or a dog but it's he!! if you're a woman or oxen."

    July 1, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. snowyowl

    @Pete Perry: "I've never understood the argument of a woman's right to control health of her body"

    and therein lies the problem.

    July 1, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  19. Dan

    Also, YOURE THE ONES WHO GOT KNOCKED UP IN THE FIRST PLACE. Don't have a kid in order to kill it. And as for the rape arguement, don't take your anger out on an unborn baby. Your points are moot. I'm sure Rick Perry hates women... excellent logical arguement you made there, glad you could contribute.

    July 1, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  20. John

    Perry.....another white male older conservative telling women what is right for them and their body.....Anarchy is defined as a woman having the right to make life altering decisions for herself........the texas definition of anarchy.

    July 1, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  21. Brenda

    Judging by some of the comments I see here... it's okay to protest FOR abortion like an angry mob, but you can't protest AGAINST abortion. The double standard is astounding!

    July 1, 2013 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  22. ScottM

    If this law were really about protecting women’s health, why is it opposed by both the Texas District of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Texas Hospital Association? Why should the state government get between these doctors and their patients?

    July 1, 2013 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  23. llmb

    "Mob rule" would be another name for "democracy." Just saying.

    July 1, 2013 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  24. jp0

    Instead we get the "tyranny of the majority".

    July 1, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Albert911emt

    It sounds more like democracy than anarchy, but then I'm not surprised that Perry can't tell the difference. If it goes against what republicans want, then it's certainly not their idea of democracy.

    July 1, 2013 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
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