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. Xorax

    Mob Rule? They're called "voters".

    July 1, 2013 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  2. Conservatismisanabortion

    Much as I despise abortion, I despise an intrusive government even more

    July 1, 2013 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. JoeFL

    Interesting governor. When protesters are "on your side" (tea party), they are "patriots". When they differ from your views, they are labeled "a mob".

    July 1, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  4. Socalmcgraw

    Wonder if he's smart enough to sort out the dilemma of abortion and morality and democracy's ethics. Mob rule may be the democratic majority in favor of abortion. Of course Perry's ilk are disingenuous on this issue. Abortion is just a part of the issue. The other part is screwing the under served and the poor who will be denied elements of healthcare that they need. He's a mean little man.

    July 1, 2013 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    What I can't understand is – why so many Texans voted Perry into office and now seem to be so against him. Were they not aware of his stanes each time they voted for him; or did he fool them into thinking he was the best person for the job? If your answer is #1, were you sleeping and if it's #2, is he smarter than most of us give him credit for? Inquiring minds want to know.

    July 1, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. Jeff

    The scariest thing about this whole situation is that people actually voted for Rick Perry.

    July 1, 2013 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  7. MasterBlaster

    I think Rick Perry & the Texas GOP need to burn a joint & chill. Stupid spreads across Red States, a lot faster than across blue ones. How is telling a woman she can't have a procedure not interfering with her medical decisions? I think not allowing women to have abortions is crazy as making it mandatory for all Americans 21 & older to smoke marijuana three times a day to "Chill Out". It dose work......!

    July 1, 2013 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  8. rickenpacker89

    Perry thinks the second amendment is 'mob rule'. He's a wacko.

    July 1, 2013 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  9. MichaelK

    Would that small group controlling things be the legislature that broke the LAW by changing the time stamp to make it appear the legislation had passed? Those guys?

    July 1, 2013 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  10. Tigerflower

    This guy should be hard at work in Afghanistan, Iraq or any of the other countries that deprive women of rights as human beings. Shutting down women's healthcare clinics to further his abortion agenda is just a horrible thing to do to half the population of the state he was elected to serve. Shame on you Rick Perry.

    July 1, 2013 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  11. Aries12

    "Mob rule?" Is that what we are calling democracy now?

    July 1, 2013 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  12. Anthony in California

    But but but... we are the Party opposed to "Big Governemt"

    -derping Republicans

    July 1, 2013 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  13. Jennifer

    Quit being such a twit and maybe there wouldn't be any mob or anarchy! IT IS LOGIC.

    July 1, 2013 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  14. Alpha Deus

    Was Perry quite so anti mob rule when the tea party express were shouting down discourse at every opportunity, trying to get their minority brand of extremism into the main stream...was he anti corruption when he was taking election campaign contributions from people who would then get to run the regulatory agencies in texas while owning companies who would benefit from those same regulations....Perry is anti anything that isn't Perry benefitting..he doesn't want women to have rights over their own bodies, minorities to have rights over their own votes, the poor to have the right to vote for a better chance at life but he just bends over quickly if some millionaire shows up demanding tax free benefit and deregulation of his 'dangerous' business...they matter...Perry is just a money ho taking it for million dollar bills

    July 1, 2013 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  15. sharan

    Rick, with all due respect, you are ignorant. Yes higher standards are a great idea for ANY type of medical service. The partisan BS is where the ignorance comes in to the situation.

    July 1, 2013 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  16. Seth Hill

    I'm a liberal and support a woman's right to chose ... but people in the galleries shouting down legislators, or even a senator filibustering, is stupid. We elected legislators to vote for us, let them vote. Then if you don't like the way they vote, elect someone else. Now days everyone is cowardly, including the shouters who are afraid their legislators won't vote the way they want. But also the politicians, who were probably very happy the session got disrupted and they didn't have to actually vote. They're probably terrified of Gov. Perry's upcoming special session!

    July 1, 2013 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  17. Seth Hill

    To "dangercreativity": I'm sorry, I do judge Texas by Perry and Bush. You elected them!

    July 1, 2013 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  18. Larry L


    Thank goodness someone recognizes that a life is a life, period
    Really? So if a fertilized egg fails to adhere to the uterine wall and is cast out with a woman's menstrual fluids – it's a life? Should it be recovered from the fluid, named, and given a funeral? Why not? The pro-lifers have created their own reality by calling a zygote or fetus a "little baby" as part of an organized marketing plan. It's not a baby – it's a part of a woman's body that nobody should control – especially a right-wing politician trying to get votes.

    July 1, 2013 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  19. austin_blue


    Yes, a life is a life, but is it a *human* life? Didn't we agree on a good definition of human death so we could harvest organs from brain-dead corpses who still had a "beating heart"? Didn't we do this because we needed a working bright line that kept our culture from adopting vivisection as acceptable?

    If a potential human has not achieved a level of brain development that meets the present definition of "dead", how can you claim that it's a live human? Or do you also claim that organ donations, saving thousands of living humans each year, are also immoral and criminal? Just askin'.

    July 1, 2013 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  20. Support PERRY!!!

    I don't think there is a contradiction in being pro life and pro death penalty.

    I think if you pray to Jesus, you will know that he will tell your soul that murdering criminals is OK for this society. And if they are true believers (yes, even murderers can believe in Jesus) then it is OK to put them to death because they are going to have eternal life in heaven anyways.

    Perry is right on this one. There's no contradiction like everyone says. Jesus would support the death penalty and Perry.

    July 1, 2013 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  21. GnatB

    Your womb, your choice. You chose to get pregnant, and remain pregnant for 20 weeks. You made your choice, too late to change it, now live with the consequences.

    It's called being an adult. Heck, Women still get more say in the matter than a man does. Man makes the same bad choices the woman does, he's stuck with the child support even if he wants it aborted immediately.

    July 1, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  22. bob

    Perry sadly makes Bush look like a mensa genius.

    July 1, 2013 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  23. bws

    Rick Perry doesn't hate women, he's trying to save them. Approximately half of aborted fetuses are female. Just because they are in the womb doesn't mean they don't have a gender.

    July 1, 2013 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  24. judith

    The Republican War on Women continues unabated and the ignorant Rick (Jethro Bodine) Perry apparently he sees himself as the leading general in the assault. Every woman in Texas should get behind booting this clown out of power.

    July 1, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  25. Terri

    The slander about women is outrageous. Just because we believe that we should have equal rights and be treated with dignity and respect does not make us baby killers. The name calling and stereotyping of women who believe we have the right to make choices about our own reproductive decisions is nothing more than childish bullying. Women have the right to live too.

    July 1, 2013 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
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