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. Geest

    Go figure a small-government advocate like Perry is pushing his state lawmakers to drastically increase their control over people's lives. Disgusting.

    July 1, 2013 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  2. Chris Winfield

    Ricky Bobby says no more mob rule. Autocratic rule today, autocratic rule tomorrow, autocratic rule forever.

    July 1, 2013 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  3. cc

    People need to read. This bill is to limit abortions AFTER FIVE MONTHS of pregnancy.

    Really how many people think it's perfectly fine to terminal a healthy no complications pregnancy because the woman decided FIVE MONTHS later that she wanted to kill her unborn child.

    It does nothing to stop women from killing their unborn children in the first trimester

    July 1, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  4. Chris Winfield

    Rickey Bobby says no more mob rule. Autocratic rule today, autocratic rule tomorrow, autocratic rule forever.

    July 1, 2013 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  5. Really?

    If you can't figure out whether or not to have your baby within 20 weeks your an idiot. Abortion is not birth control. Funny how the Dems are so against the death penalty yet they are all for the freedom to kill babies every day.

    July 1, 2013 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  6. Ann

    Rick thinks people exercising their rights of free speech and participation in the legislative process are anarchists. Maybe he should go back to A&M and retake a few government classes, if he can read a textbook.

    July 1, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  7. itsover

    That's it. We're doomed. This country is completely and utterly DOOMED.

    July 1, 2013 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  8. Percy

    As a woman I am an equal and a citizen, free to vote, fight for my country, raise children, and pay into the economy; I will even go to prison if I break the same laws as men. But if someone else wants a baby born I become lesser in the eyes of the country and am reduced down to the contents of my womb? I can no longer make my own decisions? Don't you see that these are the same arguments that were made to keep people of color enslaved and underpaid? They're the same arguments made that said women couldn't own property or vote? They're the arguments that are made so that the people with the power keep the power without having to bear consequences for their inhumane treatment of others? By reducing people down to functions we identify them as not people, and then we can do what we want without conscience. Pro Life and Pro Choice are just labels; what we're really fighting for is our basic right to our own humanity.

    July 1, 2013 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  9. The Real Tom Paine

    -Fair is Fair

    "Murder? When is it not murder? Should a line be drawn or not? If a fertilized egg is alive, then there may be some women out there unknowingly committing murder one month. Who decides when 20 weeks has passed? How do you measure it? 20 weeks could easily be twisted down to 18 or even 16 weeks, just on someone's say so."
    I believe life begins at conception. I also believe that science proves this more and more every day that passes.
    Ok, I'll ask: what have they found out today that proves your point of view, that increases the general level of understanding of when life officially begins? The truth is that its only what you wish was going on. Had you stopped with your first sentence, you would have been fine, since you were rendering an opinion I can respect, but to continue on diminished the principled stand you very effectively and simply took.

    July 1, 2013 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  10. Buddy

    Embryology says a human embryo is a distinct human organism. Snuffing out that human life unless the life of the mother is in danger is immoral.

    July 1, 2013 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. edpeters101

    This guy just gets stupider and stupider! Wendy Davis for Governor..

    July 1, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Junebug

    "turmoil" and "mob rule"?" Last I heard, it was called The First Amendment.

    July 1, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. bspurloc

    the religious nutcase thinks all life is sacred.... execute more prisoners now... cuz executing prisoners doesnt control women...
    time to get out of the dark ages

    July 1, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. yaa

    The biggest "Mob" here is the church. All of us, including your average Christians and just normal people.

    July 1, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. Chris

    Only LIVE animals, plants, trees, and FETUSES feed and GROW. It's pretty obvious that a fetus is alive from conception as it immediately starts to grow, shape, form into a beautiful person. Shame on women and doctors for murdering them simply because a liberal judge said it was OK.

    July 1, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. Joe

    The very interesting statistics is that some 15-20 years after abortion became legal is that crime rates dropped. Why is that? The unwanted children are more likely to be born into poverty or be raised in a single-parent enviroment or be neglected, hence deacreasing their chances of developing into a successful and contributing individual. The conservative way, however, is have them born no matter what, then cut off social assistance, education and medical help, then throw them in a jail once they inevitably resort to illegal ways. Some care about human life indeed!i

    July 1, 2013 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  17. yaa

    The biggest Mob here is the church. All of us, including your average christians are just normal people.

    July 1, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  18. DAZZY

    Life begins at birth. Any other opinion is religion trying to push a fairy tale down the rest of our throats.

    July 1, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. Karen

    CC – That is incorrect – It also effectively shuts down all planned parenthood limiting healthcare for women. That is the big ticket issue – nobody is complaining about not being able to get an abortion after 5 months, this bill would effectively make it impossible for woman to go to exisitng clinics for abortions because there won't be any!!!!!!!!!

    July 1, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  20. Lenny Pincus

    Thank goodness there are so many patriots in this forum who can make important decisions for people they don't know. I'm sure all those strangers really appreciate your thoughts–especially your channeling of the Almighty.

    July 1, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine


    If you can't figure out whether or not to have your baby within 20 weeks your an idiot. Abortion is not birth control. Funny how the Dems are so against the death penalty yet they are all for the freedom to kill babies every day.
    As far as 20 weeks is concerned, who are you to decide someone is an idiot? Presumably, if they are an idiot, they probably should not be parents anyway. I have yet to hear anyone describe their abortion procidure as a form of birth control, and for conservatives to say liberals dismiss it as such shows only how shallow the Right is on this subject. I would hope that the Right would want to put in far more effort into making this a better world for kids to be born into, but apparently that's too hard for them as well. Far easier to condemn the mothers and the kids as little better than worker bees only fir for the Wal-Mart economy they have engineered over the last 3 decades than it is to try to see that children have a decent shot at success.

    July 1, 2013 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  22. Big Government Republican Communist

    I am all for big government communist rule – Putin

    July 1, 2013 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  23. Kevin

    Hey TX, you lose all day and all night when it comes to textbooks, be prepared to lose all day and all night on this issue.

    July 1, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  24. Dr Matrix

    No mob rule, unless it's his Republican Evangelical mob. They also seem to believe their disruption of the legal process at clinics is ok. I'm not a fan of abortion, but I wish Pery's mother had one.

    July 1, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  25. TexasVoter

    This bill closes all but five clinics in the state, forcing poor women to drive over a thousand miles and spend a night. There are no exceptions for rape, no exceptions for extreme physical abnormalities discovered late term. Medical professionals are overwhelmingly against this bill. People claim they want the state out of our health care, yet they demand that politicians make reproductive health care decisions for us? I was at the rally in Austin today. The speakers included both democrats and republicans as well as many religious leaders from different faiths. It wasn't an "unruly mob. It was thousands of Texans refusing to be bullied by likes of Perry and Dewhurst.

    July 1, 2013 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
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