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. samsart

    Gov. Perry is intent on making sure that his 'small government' dis-enfranchises all the members of an entire gender. Gosh, that seems a bit anarchist to me! Exercising the right to free speech, freedom of assembly, the long held facet of the filibuster – all those are acts of anarchy? No , those are acts of people who wish to be viewed as what they are: citizens and not chattel.

    July 1, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Debbie

    "Mob rule" is actually majority rules, hence, democracy. This man will never be put in a position where he even has to contemplate such a thing. Therefore, his opinion, barbaric that it is, means nothing. Except he is in a position to affect others. This man is bad news for the country as a whole. What he's trying to do is a disgrace. I'm sure there are plenty of people in Texas, and elsewhere in this country for that matter, who are hungry, homeless and on the verge of hopelessness. How about putting some effort into them? Instead of taking such drastic measures to curtail or even obolish the rights a woman has over her own body. I think this man should be voted out of office, and god willing, never ever come close to the White House. He's a blatant idiot.

    July 1, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. sheppard

    @ 'really?' All rick – and apparently YOU are concerned with is the fetus – once the child is born he (you?) has absolutely no interest in making sure the child is feed or a decent roof over the child's head – or decent clothes on the child's back – or a change at a decent education for the child – Love the fetus, ignore the child........ How many people think that is 'perfectly fine'? You can take your hypocrisy and put it where the sun don't shine.

    July 1, 2013 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. MLL

    Really? And just what to you call the Republican leadership and members of the Texas legislator trying to ram anti female legislation down women's throats?

    July 1, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Tom

    Mob rule? You mean TX citizens exercising their rights? Once again, Mr. Perry, you prove to the rest of the country that TX is an embarrassment. Come out of the dark ages. Better yet, resign.

    July 1, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  6. Gerg

    I am for choice, but do have a hard time understanding how and why anyone would have an abortion after about 20 weeks.

    To "cc" make sense until you spew your politics by saying "It does nothing to stop women from killing their unborn children in the first trimester". Really, show me where any unbron has survided outside the womb having been birthed that early; and if so, show me any that have had no major health complications. "cc", your hate-laced comment is why there is "mob" rule - your fanaticism overrides your senses on the subject is incredible.

    Did you know cloning has the pormise of premies surviving earlier? But alas, the likes of the anti-abortion groups have beat that research can't have it both ways, that is, dump your religious fanaticism and let's then have a reasonable conversation on this subject.

    July 1, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  7. Laura

    Welcome to New Taliban Texas

    July 1, 2013 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  8. teedofftaxpayer

    Sounds like Perry wants to siffle the 1st Amendment in his state. I guess he'll have his private police force there to prohibit those people from entering the building. Maybe now people of Texas will grow some balls and get rid of this dictator.

    July 1, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  9. H

    Perry is actually totally OK with "mob rule" as long as it is his mob.

    July 1, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  10. Damia Savon

    At 20 weeks a fetus is not viable and feels no pain. No 20 week old fetus has survived outside the womb.

    At 22 weeks the chance of survival is at most 10% and only with serious medical intervention.
    At 23 weeks it is between 10 and 40% with intervention.
    At 24 weeks it jumps to 40-70% and medical intervention may not be necessary though birth defects cannot be ruled out either.
    By 26 weeks the survival rates is 80-90%.

    July 1, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. Mike Mazzla

    They really know how to cater to get the women and youth vote dont they

    July 1, 2013 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  12. Jordan S

    For those wondering why people object to the 20 week limit: It's not about the 'freedom to kill your child late.' It's there to prevent against serious issues that can happen, or be diagnosed, late in the pregnancy. I had a friend who was pregnant with her second child. A child they wanted. They found out at around 22-23 weeks that the fetus was severely deformed. Not deformed in a 'he'll be ugly' way, but deformed to a point that the child had absolutely zero chance of surviving outside the womb, even at full term. They decided to abort the fetus. When they went for the consult, the doctor told her to 'think long and hard about it, and take a few days or a week to do so." By the time they had gone and done that, and went back for the abortion, they were told it wasn't possible to do it now that it was so late.

    As a result, my friend had to carry to term a child she knew was going to die within minutes of being born. She went through the pregnancy, through the pain of labor, knowing her child would die. The emotional scarring was horrible. As predicted by the doctor, the child died within the first hour of being born. My friends then had to do a full funeral and burial, at significant cost, in addition to the emotional burden of carrying and delivering a dead baby. With this bill, and others like it, this sort of thing will happen MUCH more often, as the first ultrasound is often not until around the 20 week mark.

    I'm no fan of people using abortions as birth control, but there are good reasons to not do a blanket ban on this stuff. The amount of post 20 week abortions as it is is extremely small, and most of them are for pretty good reason, including health of the mother.

    July 1, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  13. S.B. Stein

    The problem is that there was no mention of what resources would be provided for the women who are forced to carry the pregnancy to term when the option of abortion is not available. It seems that there was a bit of irony because they day or so after this was done, Texas executed the 500th person since 1980's. I think that Perry is pro-birth which means he want them born so that they can be executed later.

    July 1, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  14. Mark

    Republicans like this guy Perry just keep shooting themselves in the foot. They are stuck in the ancient past and completely out of touch with today's voters and their priorities. Funny how all these Republicans who shout about intrusive government nevertheless see no contradiction when it comes to telling a woman whether or not she can choose to have have an abortion. They worry much more about the rights of the unborn but they could care less about the children who are already here.

    July 1, 2013 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  15. Dan5404t

    Perry and his Tea Party/GOP regressives are just like most of the right-wingers, no matter what the law of the land, no matter that the majority of women, minorities and people supporting expanded universal gun checks already don't support their party's policies, they just double down on them. Many key Republicans have repeatedly warned them about the real dangers of blocking compromise and continually seeing the House pass useless right-wing legislation and doing nothing else. It seems they learned nothing from defeats in two presidential elections. They are doing everything in their power to see that health care for all Americans fails, that minorities are gerrymandered and manipulated out of their full voting rights and that creating draconian state laws to bypass federal laws in order to achieve defacto discrimination can get them back into power without a mandate from the majority of voters. The obly answer is at the voting booth. Turn out in sufficient numbers to finally stop those that are attempting to turn the country back to the 19th century.

    July 1, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  16. Logic less lefty

    So much idocracy about democracy. Democracy is voting for representatives of you. Not rioting a governmental chamber preventing normal procedures.

    July 1, 2013 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  17. The King

    When in the hell are the idiots in TX going to secede?? Give it back to the Mexicans, as it's rightfully their land anyway.

    July 1, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  18. Grumpster

    Perry....just shut the eff up already.

    July 1, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. cali girl

    It's not anarchy you dingbat Perry. It's called a law. Roe vs Wade since you apparently need reminding.

    July 1, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. DJ Reality

    Mohammed Perry is going to try to force his will on Texas. Sharia law is alive in Texas and Rick Perry is ready to force his will on them all. Soon Texans will have to build him an alter!

    July 1, 2013 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  21. Gerg

    All the while, the GOP continues to slink further into the shadows of political insignificance…with Perry’s push on the term limits to abortions; to Governor Bob McDonald in the Commonwealth of VA having signed into law the requirement of women to undergo a sonogram before they can get an abortion; to Ken Cuccinelli, VA Atty General (and running for Governor this fall in VA) trying to close down Planned Parenthood – all the while claiming he will look out for the little guy (who do you think uses PP the most)?...and on and on… The GOP certainly likes to tell you what you can’t do and then scratches their collective bald spot when they don’t get the votes…

    July 1, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. roxy2013

    Taliban Texas indeed, where man make the choices that belong to the women.

    July 1, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  23. nunya

    Oh please. The whole attempt to scuttle abortion by any means necessary is nothing but mob rule. It sure isn't based on science or on trying to understand other people...

    July 1, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  24. Tom

    Ironically, the people of Austin, where the capital is, hate Rick Perry. Please don't judge the whole state's population because of this one ignoramus. Unfortunately, the majority of the state is rural bible thumpers. We urban Texans hate Rick Perry just as much as the rest of the country.

    July 1, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  25. DJ Reality

    I don't think he should waist his time running for the presidency again. Unless he wants to look really stupid this time.

    July 1, 2013 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
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