Pro-Choice Texans Back 'People's Filibuster' in Austin
A 'fuse has been lit' against anti-choice measures
Thousands of Texans are rallying once again in Austin on Monday as lawmakers continue to debate a hotly contested anti-abortion bill that was blocked by a "people's filibuster" on the state Senate floor last week.
Thousands of protesters on both sides of the debate are expected throughout the day in the city including over 5,000 people who signed up for the "Stand With Texas Women" rally.
The rally began at noon on the steps of the Capitol building.
Last week a large group of pro-choice activists performed a "people's filibuster" in which hundreds of orange-clad abortion-rights activists in the legislature's gallery "began roaring louder and louder until they literally shouted down the final minutes of the 30-day special session before Republicans could pass the bill," the Texas Observer reported at the time.
"A fuse has been lit in Austin, and there is growing opposition across the state to these attacks that endanger women's health and safety."
The people's filibuster followed Senate Democrat Wendy Davis's 10-hour filibuster of the same bill. The combined efforts blocked the controversial bill, SB 5, for the time being.
The legislation would have banned abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and would have closed all but five of the state's abortion clinics, similar to a law passed in Ohio over the weekend.
However, Texas Governor Rick Perry called for a new legislative session to push the bill forward directly following the filibuster.
As the Guardian reports, the bill is not expected to see results anytime soon but protesters on both sides of the debate are expected to rally throughout the day.
"Once again Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Governor David Dewhurst are attacking the constitutional rights of women in Texas," the group Stand with Texas Women said on their Facebook page.
On Tuesday, Sen. Wendy Davis and the Senate Democrats stood together to stop harmful legislation from passing in the Texas Senate. Thanks to your voice and the voices of thousands, women in Texas won!
Now we must stand together again to demand justice for all women in Texas. Join us Monday, July 1st at 12 noon at the Texas Capitol to have your voice heard! Stand with us, grab your orange gear and join us in Austin.
"A fuse has been lit in Austin, and there is growing opposition across the state to these attacks that endanger women's health and safety," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund.
"Men and women across the country are standing with the women of Texas today as the legislature again takes up this extreme measure that would shut down most clinics in the state," said Jennifer Dalven, director of the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project.
"Politicians in Texas and around country remain laser-focused on banning abortion and interfering in a woman's private medical decisions," she continued. "We can't let that happen. We join Texas women and women throughout the nation to say enough is enough."