Thousands of Texans have rallied against the restrictive bill that would criminalize abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and shut down most abortion clinics in the state. One activist, a 28-year-old Texas woman named Sarah Slamen, delivered a powerful speech against the legislation during a hearing on Monday. However, she was soon interrupted mid-sentence by the senators, and hauled out of the room by several state troopers:
"I will thank you, though, first. It was destiny that you would discriminate against us and try to force your way inside the bodies of Texas women. Thank you! For finally working against women so publicly, and not in the shadows like you’re used to. Thank you for every single bad press conference with your bad information. Thank you for every hateful statement degrading women and girls to sex objects, and brood mares, and bald eagles, and leather wallets, like your eloquent pro-life supporters have done today.
Thank you for being you, Texas legislature. You have radicalized hundreds of thousands of us. And no matter what you do for the next 22 days, women and their allies are coming for you. Let’s start down the line. Senator Campbell, you’re an ophthalmologist. So I won’t be making you the expert on reproductive health. We can give you all the children with chlamydia and herpes in their eyes, since we don’t have Sex Ed in this state."
As she was taken away, Slamen yelled, “This is a farce. The Texas legislature is a bunch of liars. It’s a low bar that you hold yourself to that you simply allowed us to speak.” She later said in an interview with the Daily Kos that there was a crowd of supporters cheering for her as she left the Capitol building.
Despite the pro-choice activism on display in Texas, legislators are attempting to rush through the bill in a second special session, after a “people’s filibuster” helped defeat the first. Since Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) quickly called a second special session to advance the bill, Republicans have restricted the hours of debate to advance it as fast as possible.