Results tagged “Wendy Davis” from Blog for Choice
We all remember last month when thousands of pro-choice activists flooded the Texas capitol in solidarity with Sen. Wendy Davis to stop an extreme anti-choice bill that would close almost 90 percent of abortion clinics across the state.
I've been to my fair share of rallies, and as an added bonus of standing up for reproductive freedom I've seen some innovative, creative, and sometimes comedic signs.
But when Tuesday Cain's hand-made sign went viral, anti-choice activists went after her, calling the 14-year old "ugly," a "degenerate," and "whore."
Fortunately, the story does not end there. Tuesday stood up to anti-choice bullies and spoke out:
"I don't think [supporting a woman's right to choose] makes me -- or any other 14-year-old girl who agrees with me -- a whore. It simply makes us people. People who believe that abortion should be safe, legal and accessible for women. People who believe women should be in control of their bodies and should not ever have to put their lives at risk so that we don't go backwards in women's rights in this country.
Normally, I prefer to look up to adults as role models. But what is happening in Texas right now it's hard to find adults who I want to look up to. I'm not going to let someone calling me a whore stop me from fighting for what is right for all women. I'm not going to let the bullies win in the fight over women's bodies."
We couldn't agree more.
While it's disgusting to see anti-choice bullies shame young women for supporting women's reproductive freedom, at least the battle for women's health in Texas has cast a spotlight on what anti-choice politicians and their allies are really trying to achieve: taking away a woman's ability to decide whether and when to start a family.
We were deeply disappointed to hear that, despite thousands of pro-choice Texans rallying at the Capitol in opposition to extreme anti-choice legislation, the Texas House of Representatives passed a bill that would close down all but five abortion clinics across the state and ban abortion care after 20 weeks - even in the most heartbreaking of circumstances.
We've seen the anti-choice in politicians Texas stoop to a new low by resorting to cheating tactics and changing the rules to force this dangerous legislation into law. Texas grabbed the nation's attention during Sen. Wendy Davis' 13-hour filibuster and we'd like to share a first-hand account of that experience, from Heather McLeod of Austin, Texas, who stood in the Capitol that night:
"The gallery was full, as was the auditorium where the proceedings were being streamed. Hallways and elevators and stairwells buzzed with activity.
Suddenly an urgent "Shhhhhhhh!" passed from person to person in the group closest to the television. The roar of the bustling room dropped to a hush. This had been the third point of order and the sound was back on. I could feel our collective hearts drop. Sustained. They had killed the filibuster, grasping at absurd straws in an effort to silence Wendy Davis and all of us. I was aware here of the beginning of a certain level of unity--focused, bold, determined--that would come to define the rest of the night. As far as we knew, the filibuster had been broken, which meant the bill would pass, and our reproductive freedom was about to be ripped out from under us.
Crowding onto the terrazzo of the rotunda, surrounded by stately portraits and the soft white glow of the building's interior, our voices began to rise. Louder and louder we grew, until we were chanting as one: "Shame! Shame! Shame! Shame!" The force of passion in the building could have lifted the roof off, not to mention the sheer volume of sound. It grew into one neverending cry of outrage in between chants, until a group of state representatives appeared on the west side of the second floor balcony. I recognized Dawnna Dukes, Senfronia Thomas, and Borris Miles. They were telling us that it wasn't over. The senators were appealing the ruling. They were pleading with us to wait quietly. They motioned dramatically with their hands: "Wait here. We'll be back." It was around this time that we learned that all entrances to the Capitol had been locked due to the crowd's unrest, and no one was allowed in or out. We sat down on the floor of the rotunda. The temperature in the room had started to rise. Food and water were brought in and passed around. We waited, texted, checked social media.
As 11:00 approached, the mood in the room grew tense. We weren't sure what was happening in the gallery. We began counting down. People inside began getting to their feet again until we were all standing.
At 11:42 we began to hear cheering from upstairs and someone appeared at the railing of the highest balcony yelling hoarsely at us to start making noise. Around this same time came the news of Senator Van de Putte's powerful question. Our supporters in the gallery had disrupted the session by standing and cheering and they were refusing to stop.
If we could hear the couple hundred of them shouting, they would certainly be able to hear one or two thousand people in the center of the building. Like a match had been lit, the rotunda exploded in an uprising of sound that swelled above us to a chill-inducing, ear-splitting pitch. "WEN-DY! WEN-DY! WEN-DY!" "WHOSE HOUSE IS IT? OUR HOUSE! WE WON'T GO BACK!" "OUR BODY! OUR CHOICE!" We screamed and clapped and cheered as if our lives depended on it. Our freedom certainly did. The sound seemed to hang in the air above us and feed back, ringing out the power of hundreds and hundreds of voices screaming for equality.
Midnight came and went. Dozens of troopers entered the gallery and began physically removing people while confusion set in downstairs. It appeared a vote had happened, albeit illegally, and that nothing would be settled by night's end. A sizable crowd was gathered outside the Capitol when we left. We witnessed some dramatic arrests being made.
I got home shortly after 2:00 a.m. and learned then that, amazingly, the bill was dead. Dewhurst had ultimately been forced to concede to the objectivity of the clock. Here in Texas we are used to losing these battles, so the next morning dawned with a kind of hope and pride we haven't felt in a long time. But within 24 hours, Rick Perry called another special session. But something has changed in a huge number of us: we are tired, really tired, of being devalued, threatened, and ignored. We will not stand by while our most personal rights are stripped away.
We have woken up."
The Texas Legislature is still in the spotlight after Sen. Wendy Davis' epic stand led the way to a "People's Filibuster," where hundreds of pro-choice Texans rallied at the capitol and ensured that an extreme anti-choice bill did not pass.
But instead of respecting democracy, Gov. Rick Perry and his anti-choice allies in the Texas legislature have resorted to manipulating the rules, cutting off debate, and ignoring the clock so that they could pass extreme anti-choice legislation.
We asked pro-choice Texans across the state to voice their own opinions about Gov. Perry's cheating tactics by writing a Letter to the Editor of their local paper. The Letters to the Editor are the most frequented section of the paper, and we've already seen a few printed!
Here's one Letter to the Editor featured in the Weatherford Democrat:
As children, we're taught that cheating is against the rules, plain and simple. As adults, many of us work to instill this value in children. We want them to play fair, and follow the rules even if it doesn't go their way. As the old adage goes, "Cheaters never win." Gov. Perry, Lt. Gov. Dewhurst and their allies in the legislature must have missed this lesson. And Texas women could pay the price. Perry and Dewhurst have resorted to cheating and deception to push their abortion bill that will hurt the health of many women across the state.
We demand that Gov. Perry and Lt. Gov. Dewhurst stop changing the rules. Cheating is no way to make laws for Texas. If the governor and his allies can't pass a law fairly under the rules, we can't let them cheat their way to victory. Here in Texas, cheaters never win.
Janell Jenkins, Garland, Texas
Anti-choice politicians in Texas and across the country must be held accountable for their unacceptable behavior that could cheat women out of their rights. Would you consider writing to your local paper?