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. Arch

    what's worse, in the guise of protecting the innocent unborn, they actually kill their women and daughters and nieces and mothers and actually prevent zero abortions, all the while providing ignorance and a belief in magic over science. texas republicans are responsible for all these deaths. truly, they are the party that abandons the living and are firmly pro death.

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

    When did the voice OF THE PEOPLE become anarchy?

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

    The folks bussed in by Planned Parenthood won't be able to disrupt democracy in action this time. DPS will be standing by to haul them to Texas jails.

    July 1, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  4. (P)Rick Perry MUST go!

    He does NOT speak for all Texans.

    July 1, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  5. rosie

    Why is it that the GOP cannot understand it when people use the Constitution (freedom of speech and assembly) to make a point? Gov. Perry, please resign!!!

    July 1, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  6. Data Driven

    "Texans and their views will prevail"

    Doesn't Perry have handlers? Not all Texans share your views, Rick. The "unruly mob" has the Constitutional right to assemble in the building that conducts the people's business, Rick. You're making Texas look like Saudi Arabia, Rick.

    Wouldn't it have been easier to try to sneak this nonsense through months later, after attention died down? Strategically, Perry and company are making themselves look worse by their high-handed attitude, and are basically threatening mass arrests. What about the PR angle here? I'm somewhat mystified.

    July 1, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  7. Chaz

    The right to free speech and assembly is obviously not an absolute right – there are limits on it and allowing a very small fraction of the population to halt the process of a democratically elected government doesn't seem to fall within that limit to me. Would one on the other side of the issue make the argument that a church group should be allowed to fill the halls of congress when it prepared to pass a law requiring employers provide health care coverage for birth control? Furthermore, while I can't say that I stand firmly on either side of the abortion debate (one where both sides of the debate offer some very real points), if a babies have survived out of the womb at 21 weeks, aborting a 20 week old baby gets well into the grey area as to whether we are debating what a woman does with her body (I'm 100% on this. Do whatever you want with it) or what she does with someone else's body (I don't think anyone would argue that sticking a needle in the brain of one of those 21 week old babies that survived should be legal).

    July 1, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  8. ezduzit757

    "He 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".

    You're not fooling anyone governor. You've already stated in a previous interview that your goal was to stop abortion – at any stage. Why do women having abortions need higher medical standards than anyone else having any other procedure.

    July 1, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Buddy

    Most Texas agree with Perry. Abortion is not popular in Texas. We love our babies.

    July 1, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  10. Linda

    Perry and his Republican minions must go. I have never voted for a Republican in my life, all spent in Texas. I'm tired of the GOP ruining democracy! If they are so much in favor of life, why have they not voted to ban the death penalty?

    July 1, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  11. Sashatree

    "Mob Rule", eh? Up here we call that Majority Rules ....or a DEMOCRACY!

    July 1, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  12. L.Sanfod

    So General Perry decided he will be the primary leader in the GOP"s war on women.. How pathetic!

    July 1, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  13. Nate (Texas born and raised)

    In the state I live (Texas), the majority rules. Those activists are just a bump in the road for the majority of Texans.

    July 1, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC


    How can anyone be in favor of abortion after 5 months? If a woman doesn't know by then what direction she's going to take – then there must be mental illness involved – which is a whole other issue.
    Some women are so irregular that it can take that long to figure it out. Besides, most abortions performed after 5 months are done because of some serious medical issue with either the parent or the baby. Republicans want to ban abortions when a mother's life is in danger.

    Another problem with a 20 week ban is how do you measure "20 weeks"? Most Republicans claim that it begins at conception, which is debatable. The differing opinions could cut those 20 weeks down to as much as 16, or less.

    July 1, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  15. Buddy

    I hope Wendy Davis does run for governor. She won't stand a chance and Perry will defeat her handily.

    July 1, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  16. Scott in Denver

    Per usual, it's always the men that are most vocal about abortion, when in all reality, it is the men who ultimately have no say in the matter. Let's leave this discussion to the females since it's their bodies and their decision.

    July 1, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. us_1776

    Perry, we count the days until you leave the governor's mansion.

    You make every other politician look like a genius. And that's sayin' something.


    July 1, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  18. MIKE

    this isnt the 50s, there isnt a guy with a coat hanger in a dirty motel.
    we give FREE condoms..... free
    we pay for womens birth control FREE............... free
    a child can buy the 'morning after' pill...... a child
    isnt abortion a safety net for the STUPID!
    we pay for everything they didnt have in the 50-60s.

    July 1, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  19. Buddy

    Embryology textbooks say a human embryo is a distinct human individual. We should protect our children, not kill them.

    "Although life is a continuous process, fertilization is a critical landmark because, under ordinary circumstances, a new, genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed.... The combination of 23 chromosomes present in each pronucleus results in 46 chromosomes in the zygote. Thus the diploid number is restored and the embryonic genome is formed. The embryo now exists as a genetic unity."
    [O'Rahilly, Ronan and Müller, Fabiola. Human Embryology & Teratology. 2nd edition. New York: Wiley-Liss, 1996, pp. 8, 29.

    July 1, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  20. John N. Seattle, WA

    Ah, the Republican Party, advocating a Government JUST small enough to fit in your bedroom!

    July 1, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Dwayne Daughtry

    Perhaps Gov Perry should brush up on his democracy history. The French Revolution may be a good place to start to learn about why it happened?

    July 1, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Bob

    This is NOT about "womens health" or "protecting the unborn" this is simply about control.

    Arrogant, power hungry control.

    July 1, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. ironman59

    Someone needs to remind pointless perry that the state legislature belongs to the PEOPLE. More to the point the filabuster was done according to the rules setup by the gop so if they didn't like it too bad, they created the process. Most of all this proves how neandartholic the gop, particularly is in tex-ass. Hopefully the people will wake up and kick out the gop but since the education level is about 6th grade, that is unlikely.

    July 1, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. treblemaker

    Let's see, a women's health issue....a woman usually gets pregnant by consenting to sexual relations with a man. As I see it, the issue is 50% man, 50% woman...the father of the unborn child has just as much right as the woman who carries that child. It takes two to create a child, even in the in-vitro process. I've never in human history heard of just the egg producing a human being...with the exception of one time (about 2000 years ago).

    The only time I see where the woman has the right to claim 100% choice is if the father abandons the mother, refusing to provide support in any manner. However, if the father wants the child, he has the right to decide also. Saying that only the woman has the right to choose when she consented to sex in the first place is downright immoral! The woman has no right to summarily dismiss the father's right to choose to keep the child just to get out of an inconvenient pregnancy that she herself initiated.

    Unfortunately, abortion must be kept legal because "the genie is out of the bottle". What's done is done, and you can't go back to the past. However, there is nothing wrong with imposing medical guidelines. But even then, nothing will really change until men step up to the plate, take their interests to court, and demand their equal rights to decide to keep–AND support-the child that they help bring into the world.

    July 1, 2013 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  25. Greg in Arkansas

    Perry is "not going to allow that (personal opinions) to occur in their chambers"......but doesn't sem to mind that his (personal opinions) are going to mandated decisions made in medical chambers between medical professionals and private citizens.....face it, he wants state control over personal medical choices.

    July 1, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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