The Texas Saga Continues

wendy davis twitterGov. Rick Perry may have called another special legislative session to advance his anti-abortion agenda through the Texas legislature, but reproductive rights and health activists aren’t backing down.

On Monday, 5,000 orange-clad protesters rallied outside the Capitol building before a brief legislative session, where senators voted to reconvene on Tuesday, July 9 at 11 a.m.

And in the House State Affairs Committee yesterday, H.B. 2 (the new designation of what was formerly S.B. 5) was approved by a vote of 8-3. Public testimony during the House committee hearing was officially closed at midnight, which only allowed about 100 people—split almost equally between those in favor and in opposition to the bill—to share their personal stories. A thousand other Texans were still waiting in hopes of testifying.

While a woman’s right to choose is in jeopardy with this draconian legislation, H.B. 2—which will most likely be passed during the 30-day special legislative session called by Perry—puts many health programs for lower and middle-income women in danger. If and when these anti-abortion measures become law, this legislation will not just limit access to abortions but to contraception, cancer screenings, STI testing, fertility counseling and other family planning resources.

But that’s not the story Gov. Perry wants to tell. Instead he says,

Over the past few days the world has seen images of the Texas capitol filled with pro-abortion activists screaming, cheering, drowning out elected officials. Going forward, we have to match their intensity, but we have to do it with the grace and civility and dignity that our cause deserves.

He chooses to ignore that, according to a bipartisan poll from June, 80 percent of Texans do not want abortion to be on the agenda during the special legislative sessions. Only 34 percent said they trust the governor and legislature to make decisions about women’s healthcare.

While it is too early in the special legislative session to determine the outcome of HB 2 and the Senate equivalent, SB 1, Perry has repeatedly vowed to ram it through the legislature within the couple of weeks remaining in the session.

Even if Texas passes this bill, Texan women, feminists and reproductive health activists are changing the face of this fight. The sea of orange outside the Texas Capitol and the sheer volume of media coverage following the now-legendary filibuster by Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis speaks for itself: This isn’t just a fight for women’s rights; it’s everyone’s battle.

You can watch the livestream of the special session here next week and follow @scATX and @andreagrimes for Twitter updates. To tweet about the proposed bill yourself, you can use these hashtags: #TXlege, #SB1, #HB2, #StandWithTXWomen, #StandWithWendy and #feministarmy.

In the face of anti-abortion measures currently flooding the country—see here, here and here—we feminists are feeling both angry and fired up for action. But when we have to catch our breath before the next protest, these telling and humourous quips that Sen. Davis inspired in the past week, are sure to cheer us up.

How about these tweets?

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Then there’s Wendy Davis’s Wikipedia page—check out her new occupation.

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And on Amazon, the pink Mizuno running shoes Davis wore while she stood for 11 hours got the star treatment:

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Photo of Monday protests from Sen. Wendy Davis’ Twitter.

Comments

  1. Political Art Action and installation ideas:
    ‘Law, imitating art, imitating law.’
    It is time to take our own tired running shoes, paint them orange, tie the laces together and toss them over the wires around the Texas capitol campus. The theme song: “Old Shoe” used in the political comedic movie ‘Wag the Dog’ could be an anthem in a whole new light on a viral You Tube video. It would give the media an instantly recognizable image to flood the net.
    Hundreds of ‘harmless’ orange slippers tossed onto the floor of the chambers from the gallery like the one hurled at ‘W’ by a Muslim protester that made a world sensation.
    Carpet samples flooded with bright orange paint(water based, scrub-able), protesters can walk across and add their footsteps to the steps of the Capital the legislators have to cross to enter.
    Get rolls and rolls of crime scene tape and twist it with similar orange tape and wrap it all the way around the Capital campus.
    Have women willing to be arrested, show up, already in orange jumpsuits to stand arm in arm.
    Or just rig a clothes line of crime scene tape in sight of the windows of the chamber, and ‘hang the jumpsuits out to dry’.
    Start introducing amendments to the abortion bills that outlaw any ‘male enhancement’ pharmaceuticals, as contributory to the unwanted pregnancy condition. Women can do the ‘War of Crossed Legs’ wearing orange tights during the day and especially to bed at night. Perhaps this will jog even more ideas. All my best to you all!

    • Frances in California says:

      Here’s a kind of giggly one for Doe’s ideas file – it probably wouldn’t work but, what a thought! Replace all of Perry’s shoes with pink/orange running shoes! It would take hiding his real shoes (not practical) and knowing his shoe size in order to make sure he wore them, the theory being that he can’t go outside without shoes on (this is Texas; they have chiggers!).

  2. Dr. Patricia Cummins says:

    Doe Stahr, Love all your ideas! Hope they take off. From San Diego, we’ll be watching, FB, sharing, texting, tweeting, and whatever else.

    Thanks MS, and Danielle Nelson for all your contributions.

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