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. American Voice

    So, by Rick Perry's definition, the GOP led filibusters in the US Senate are ALSO mob rule? Do republicans even know what democray is? If this was legislation aimed at getting rid of guns and a bunch of gun-toting republicans swarmed the galley, would that be mob rule too? The GOP is fake. Fraudulent. Two-faced. Hypocritical. Can't govern. And they hate democracy and they hate this country.

    Chaz is correct. The PEOPLE have a right to free speech and the right to assemble against OUR government.

    July 1, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  2. John in Brooklyn

    Texas deserves a governor with at least a 3-digit IQ.

    July 1, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  3. matt

    Perry Capone saying texas isnt lead by the mob is only lying to himself. Anytime a few people force the masses to submit to thier will, it is mob rule.

    July 1, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  4. Texas Lady

    Pro-choice Is still the law, but NOONE should sanction a baby being aborted at 5 months ... that is the question. I am legally pro-choice believing that decision is between a woman and her maker, although morally and religiously believe abortion is wrong. This is not my place to judge, but most Texans do NOT advocate aborting a fully formed baby that could be born alive and feel pain at 5 months or further whether pro-choice or pro-life ...

    July 1, 2013 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  5. PJ

    "The question is are you going to let a small group of people take over the process, an unruly mob.................."
    We have had a small group–an "unruly mob", known as the Republican dominated State Legislature keeping
    "democracy from occurring", for a very long time.
    This is just one more example of how they disregard anyone who disagrees. The list of corrupt
    activities is long, but we pay the price every day.
    I'm not as encouraged as others that this will ever change. Not for a long time anyway. They are
    already re-writing the laws and drawing the lines with regard to voters.

    July 1, 2013 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  6. tpjv

    So when the crowd is pro-choice and against Perry's position, it's mob rule, but when it's pro-second amendment, and Perry agrees with them, it's the voice of the people? Interesting...

    July 1, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  7. Christiabella

    We will not be docile while you try to take away our rights. Deal with it.

    July 1, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Rudy NYC


    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 .........................
    There are "limits on it"? If there are limits on the 1st Amendment, does that mean that there are limits on the 2nd, too?

    July 1, 2013 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  9. Cory T

    When did the freedom to assemble become 'mob rule"? Oh, that's right, this is Texas. The constitution doesn't matter, here, obviously.

    July 1, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  10. Anderson their chambers..........
    ...........unruly mob....................
    ...........wake-up Texas..............'re about to turn colors......... vote – you decide...................

    July 1, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  11. USVET

    Why doesn't Perry put the issue on a ballot and the the people decide if they want this to be law? Maybe it's because they don't want women to have abortions. Mainstream religion teaches that women are supposed to submit to their husbands. Perry and his ilk are trying to force the religious dogma on women that they are subject to the men of society.

    Chaz, I would argue with you on the 21 week issue. Life is full of gray points. Not everything is so set that it is absolute. That is where the Republicans are making their mistake in pushing this legislation. There are plenty of medically justifiable reason to terminate a pregnancy that do not fall within the guide lines being pushed. Dewhurst and others have repeatedly stated that the purpose of this and other legislation is to end abortion.

    July 1, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  12. Tim

    "decency, civility and decorum." Perry is such an example of these (sarcasim)

    July 1, 2013 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  13. CherryMama

    I hear too much of the abortion debate. Abortion is an after-the-fact, but why not the focus on the before-the-fact? The root cause? If We all need to band together and make contraceptives as easy to get as Tylenol. Sure that won't eleminate abortions all together, or the whole pro-choice or pro-life argument for that matter. But taking the taboo, shame, and difficulties to get BC will certainly cut down on the numbers some, which would make us all happy.

    July 1, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  14. RamblinLonghorn

    The crowd only began shouting when it was clear that the Lieutenant Governor and Senate President, David Dewhurst, was illegally ending Sen. Davis' filibuster. The supposed points of order raised by him and his cronies were nonsense, and when he refused to even bring a procedural vote to end the filibuster, like he promised he would, the crowd took over and shouted him down.

    The republicans are to blame for trying to scam a system that they've already rigged in their favor so thoroughly over the last decade. If they had literally taken 5 minutes of their time from the previous two weeks of vacation in the house, the bill would have passed.

    July 1, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  15. All Life Is Precious

    Pro-Choice = A woman's right to kill her own child for convenience
    Pro-Life = A genuine concern for vulnerable babies in the womb and their right to life under the Constitution.

    No contest. God gives ; God takes away. GOD – not abortionists who blaspheme by taking over God's role as creator and carry out their inhuman acts for $500 Million a year take home pay.

    And NO I don't blame the women – the blame lies 100% with doctors who lie to women by saying that their baby is just a blob of cells. [It was NARAL doctors who suppressed all their evidence that life DOES begin at conception in order to have the abortion law passed in the first place

    Knucklehead – please google Confessions of an ex-abortionist by Dr Bernard Nathanson and learn how "Democracy" was fooled by NARAL! You've been played sunshine!

    July 1, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  16. Mikey

    @Buddy – "The folks bussed in by Planned Parenthood won't be able to disrupt democracy in action this time."
    Do you feel the same way about people being bussed in for rallies by the NRA or Tea Party Express? Or are your opinions about people's freedom of speech and assembly based on whether you agree with their point of view?

    July 1, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  17. gwiz

    the legislative process states that any vote carried out by alocal government MUST be open to the public. if he bars people from being present at this special session he will discredit the vote and leave it open to lengthy legal battles of which he will spend our money to defend his religious not political position someone said earlier you cannot inject personal religious values into a US bill the constitution forbids it PERRY has his head in a cow pile as anyone can plainly see hes the one trying to circumvent the legal process. im a man whos girl has had 2 abortions because the doctors said that her life was in danger if there had been a clinic she would have died are u people really willing to trade someone who is successful for SOMETHING that might be successful. go wendy davis and other dems filibuster this bill into oblivion he cant keep calling special sessions cause they cost alot of money. and this Man says hes all about cutting wasteful spending hypocrite

    July 1, 2013 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. Lobo

    It the beginning of the end of civilization in tea-axis, anarchy, mayhem and cult dominated leaders will enslave the masses all with there own acquiescence. For you tea-axians that means you are in heaping big doo doo.

    July 1, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  19. Syd

    Perry: No more mob rule unless I can rule the mob.

    July 1, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  20. ego_death

    So if the biggest thing in this bill is to prevent abortion after 20 weeks which, I believe is equivalent to 5 months (4 weeks / month) Then I am not sure what the big problem is. 5 months is plenty of time to make up your mind. It should be made up within the first week of you knowing you are pregnant. I think anything after the first 3 months (1st tri-mester) should have a very good reason for abortion... more than I just don't want to continue the pregnancy...

    July 1, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  21. Jeff

    Perry is such a hypocrite. He stands against what he believes is an attempt at mob rule on abortion rights but protects and even joins the attempt at mob rule on marriage rights. He is the symbol of everything that is wrong with politics and the Republican party.

    July 1, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  22. Noemi

    Absolutely digusting. That wasn't a mob, Mr. Perry. That was YOUR CONSITUENTS that you ignore and refuse to listen to. What a joke.

    July 1, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  23. Mikey

    The GOP is working on losing a large majority of votes of women, minorities, non-born again christians, gays, and anyone who supports their rights for a generation or two. I support these efforts by the GOP and their voter suppression efforts, which are leading to higher voter turnouts by minorities because the fewer Republicans in office, the better it is for America and for Americans.

    July 1, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  24. rs

    Never mind that the legislature tried to fake the time stamp on the vote to declare their failed vote successful. So, if Perry thinks a lawful filibuster was "anarchy" how does he explain what Republicans have done to operations in the U,.S. Senate?
    In any event, his law will be overturned as unconstitutional, based on recent lawsuits over similar laws.
    Thus like Perry himself, his law is largely symbolic of the GOP seperation from reality.

    July 1, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  25. It's Sergeant to you!

    "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."

    He must be talking about the lawmakers.

    July 1, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
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