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. jboh

    More TEA/GOP infringing on others' rights while claiming SCOTUS rulings upholding rights for those who disagree w/TEA/GOP somehow infringes on them. Texas is a prime example of why reconstruction ended 200 yrs too soon after the war of southern treason. Real Americans will not tolerate TEA/GOP totalitarianism. Time to flush the tea pot.

    July 1, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Sen. Wendy Davis is intelligent , stronger and more compassionate then Rick Perry will ever be .

    Perry is a phony fraud of a man with a well oiled political machine. The same greased good old rich boy machine that brought us GW Bush.

    Rick Perry , GONE WITH THE WIND !

    July 1, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  3. NYVeteran

    Mob rule is when a bunch of angry white males take away a woman's right to manage her own body Mr. Perry.

    July 1, 2013 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  4. Dumbas[R]ocks

    Buddy and Virginia - Wake up and smell the one is trying to kill infants or children. Abortion terminates a FETUS...look that word up in a dictionary....if they have such things in your red state.

    It is an abomination that befarted old white men, steeped in the odor of red-state politics, think they should pass laws concerning the private lives of women.

    July 1, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  5. sherman (I'll be good)

    Mob rule? popular rule you mean. Democracy you mean? you are an antique. time to quit your job. the obsolete version of the male of the species. you can not be serious. mob rule. oh no – delusional rule is so much superior.

    July 1, 2013 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Dee G.

    Can we sell Texas to Mexico?

    July 1, 2013 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. Mr.Howdydoody

    Essentially what happened is leftist wingnuts know the majority doesn't support their position so they disrupt the process of enacting laws. This is how leftists work. This is what they did in Wisconson, and it is what they will do anytime they feel like they are going to loose.
    Neiter party is perfect, but in order for our system of government to work, you have to let votes be made.

    What is it the left always screams about, oh, how the right tries to silence the left in voting, yet time and time again we see that it is the left that pulls out all it's tricks to disrupt voting at every level.

    July 1, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  8. TexasGirl

    There is a reason it is first called a fetus and not a baby. While I agree with the 20 week guideline, my issue is that the clinics will not be able to stay open once there are new regulations, effectivly limiting many women from getting the procedure.
    And not all pro-choice women want to abort their babies. We also love our babies.
    When I discovered I was pregnant (8 weeks) I looked into having an abortion. The nearest clinic that would provide the service to me was already 200+ miles away and in order to have the procedure done I would first have an ultrasound to see the fetus/heartbeat and then wait 24 hours before I could actually have the procedure. So, I scheduled an appointment in Albuqueque, NM to have it all done same day.
    For all you pro-lifers, I decided to go forward with my pregnancy before I went to New Mexico. The point is Texas is making it difficult for women to have an abortion and we will just go elsewhere. Rick may believe abortion is murder, but you can't force your beliefs on the people.
    There is a pill that you can take, I believe up to 12 weeks, that requires no physical procedure. All clinics should be able to provide this to women who want it with out all the regs the state is pushing.
    You don't want to support these mothers and children with your tax dollar? Let them chose to have an abortion or watch while these children suffer in poverty and foster homes while not getting the love and care they deserve from a mother who is emotionally and financially ready to support a child or multiple children.
    Power to the People, Rick! Stay out of my uterus.

    July 1, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    Wah, wah, wah! Parry is sniveling again. If you can't stand democracy in action and people exercising their First Amendment rights, then get the hell out of our country, you little twit!

    July 1, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. anchorite

    What "mob rule?" The original "mob" that pushed for abortion rights was the US Supreme Court. And that's rich coming from a guy whose side has had unruly mobs scream at pregnant women and gleefully provided aid to terrorists and assassins who killed doctors, off duty cops, and nurses at abortion clinics.

    July 1, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. Damia Savon

    @cc Remove a 5 month old fetus from the womb and see how long it lasts. No fetus at 5 months has ever survived.

    The real issue with the abortion bill is 1) the requirement that doctors become affiliated with a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic and 2) that all clinics must upgrade to accredited surgical centers.

    If no hospital is within 30 miles of the clinic then the clinic has to shut down. If the hospital decides not to affiliate with the doctor, then the clinic shuts down.

    Upgrading to a surgical center is quite costly. A different set of regulations apply including building codes and staffing among others. The American Medical Association and the American Council of OB/GYNs has stated that surgical centers are overkill for abortions. The current Texas regulations (yes standards do exist!) are sufficient.

    Both of these provisions are being increasingly used to close down clinics that provide abortions. If you cannot get to a clinic then your right to have an abortion is moot.

    July 1, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Amanda

    I am and will always be Pro Choice. But I believe in education and protection FIRST. There are free options to prevent unwanted pregnancy and if you can afford a condom you certainly cannot afford an abortion. But the idea to strip a womans right to choose is wrong. What happens when you have taken the necessary precautions, used birth control – and it fails, as it sometimes does (i.e. 99% effective). What then? Also, how dare these congressmen blanket such a difficult decision with "life is life" when they have never and will never face such an ordeal. You better believe if men were the ones to endure pregnancy and birth this would be a non issue. So congress – keep your opinion out of my uterus, thanks.

    July 1, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  13. ThinkAgain

    @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."

    And if a woman's life becomes endangered by the pregnancy after 20 weeks? She's supposed to just die so some right-wing nutjob can feel sanctimoniously superior?

    Funny how Repubs thump their chests about "freedom" and want to control a woman's body; are against birth control which would prevent unwanted/unplanned pregnancy; say they are "pro-life" while cutting food stamps and healthcare for children unlucky enough to be born into poverty; and think that profit ahead of everything else somehow creates a just and civil society.

    Hey, those Repubs are idiotically funny, alright ...

    July 1, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Ken

    Personal feelings on the issue aside (to be honest I'm not the biggest fan of abortion) I find this almost laughable. When in the course of our nation's history did the will of the people amount to mob rule? When did a vocal minority earn the right to autocratic and theocratic rule over the will of the masses? When Gov. Perry did you become enlightened enough or empowered enough to disregard the will of the people in favor of mandates and your own moral agenda?

    July 1, 2013 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. rhobere

    Its not about the time restrictions people. That's not why this bill is a problem. the supposedly good increase of medical requirements of abortion clinics reduces the number of legal abortion clinics in the second largest state in the country to 5, leaving none in west Texas at all (for those of you unfamiliar, you're looking at no less than a 10 hour drive from the panhandle or el-paso to the nearest clinic). that's unacceptable without also providing funding to open more of these clinics to bridge that gap. This bill isn't about health, its about regulating abortion clinics out of existence in the state.

    July 1, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. wjchucklebutt

    Um...Rick? That "mob" is THE PEOPLE.

    He prefers the kind of democracy that involves a small group enforcing their morals on everyone else.

    July 1, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  17. Paul Brinkiman

    I agree with the 5 month rule. But they should not close any of the existing clinics. That is where the bill looses my support.

    July 1, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. samsart

    Gov. Perry seems to have no problem exercising totalitarian rule. He seems to think that democratic process is for everywhere else but Texas and he thinks that anyone who does not espouse his draconian views as an anarchist. Funny how the 'small government' people seem to think it's just fine to dis-enfranchise one entire gender of their rights.

    July 1, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. richard Miller

    Perry must make like love like he makes laws-hurry up and get it over with and screw any consequences.

    July 1, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  20. fred smith

    I don't have a problem with limiting abortions. At five months–it is more than a little late. But-–having said that, they need to get rid of all the other requirements they are making on clinics. It is obviously the Republicans way of using big government to try to make people adhere to their moral standards. They say they hate big government until they want to use it to make you just like them. Then Perry says no mob rule. I don't see the difference.

    July 1, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  21. jennifer in Houston

    cc... sadly some fetus suddenly stop developing, this can happen after 20 weeks.. unless this bill is written very carefully, which I doubt given then inferior intellect that seems cluster in the State House in Austin, a mother will be forced to carry this to term unless a spontaneous abortion occurs.. Perry,is a DOLT as is the main sponsor of this legislation who stated that there does not need to be exceptions to aborton bills for rape because " those people are scrubbed,out by the rape kit" .. The ignorance is shameful and a terrible enditement of our Texas education system..

    July 1, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. Drano

    I guess Gov Perry is a man of paradox. On one hand he wants to protect the unborn, on the other he can't execute those living fast enough. On one hand Mr. Perry says that our children are our future, on the other he could care less if they get an education or live in squalor. He should take his famous boots and shove one down his throat and the other up his backside and see if maybe he can balance his views a bit better.

    July 1, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  23. wjchucklebutt

    cc: "This bill is to limit abortions AFTER FIVE MONTHS of pregnancy."

    And it would result in the closure of all but 5 clinics. Five clinics to serve 268,820 square miles and 26 million residents.

    July 1, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC


    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
    First of all, 20 weeks is not five months. It's about 2 weeks less. The law used to say 24 weeks, so why the change? The right wing is testing the slippery slope, just to see how far they can go. They passed a 10 week bill in Arkansas.

    Significantly less than 1% of all abortions are performed after 20 weeks. The vast majority of those are performed for one medical reason or another. Perry wants to ban abortions after 20 weeks. He doesn't care if the mother's life is in danger. A woman could be in car accident and hemorrhaging severely, but she gets no medical treatment from Perry.

    But, the "20 week" debate is just a smoke screen to cover the biggest objections, which are the amendments on the bill.

    July 1, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. oldbones24

    I agree that 5 months is late for an abortion. It is my understanding that the major defects in a human fetus, i.e. internal organs missing, spine parts missing, etc., can not be found until the late 4th or 5th month. So the parents are forced to give birth to a child that will become a ward of the state. This bill takes away the parents choice.

    July 1, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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