You’ve been granted free access to this subscribers only article.
Editorial: Witnessing the birth of HB2 in Austin amid clamor
Texas legislators gather to witness Gov. Rick Perry sign HB2 into law, preventing abortions in Texas after 20 weeks.
By Marina Thompson
(Revised 8/15/13) The majority of Texans are pro-life.
On the night of June 18, I watched on television as Sen. Glenn Hegar engaged in a debate with fellow senators on the senate floor at the Texas Capitol. I was riveted to my screen as I knew this was life-changing. Little did I know that over the next 25 days, I would be forever changed by the dramatic events in Austin.
Thankfully, Senate Bill 5 (SB5) substitute -- with a 20-week ban on abortion, with some exceptions -- was voted out of committee 7-2 and would be debated the next Sunday afternoon. I arrived several hours before the opening session that Sunday and found many people wearing orange shirts in line. Pro-lifers wore blue. I saw the pro-choice leaders representing the Democratic Party of Texas and Planned Parenthood walking around with clipboards, collecting personal information. This was my first introduction to the opposition.
SB5 passed its second reading by 4 a.m. Monday, after much stalling by many of the Democrats. The orange-clad demonstrators raced around the House gallery screaming in anger and left the gallery to protest in the open rotunda. State troopers provided a strong presence. I arrived home at 6:30 a.m. -- exhilarated and exhausted. I had been at the Capitol for more than 16 hours that day.
On June 25 and 26, SB5 was shouted down by a very loud and unruly group. I was in the gallery at the time, watching and listening. With about 15 minutes left in the special session, two sentences by Sen. Leticia Van de Putte -- carefully including the words “gallery heard me” and a “female senator” -- incited the mostly orange-clad crowd to stand on their feet and yell until after midnight. It was deafening!
According to Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s leader standing outside the gallery in the main rotunda, some senators in the chamber would give the signal for crowd participation. I have no doubt that is exactly what happened. I lived it. As the senators tried to conduct the business of their constituents, Democrat state representatives stood in the senate chamber waving wildly with both hands outstretched upwards to the now-frenzied crowd in the upper gallery. It was disgraceful, to say the least. No one could have foreseen this behavior. This was in violation of the Senate rule concerning outbursts or demonstrations.
The noise rendered the orderly process of voting on the bill almost to cease. The legislators could not hear each other on the floor. They left their desks and huddled at the front, raising one finger to vote, but time expired. The bill failed.
A new session started July 1, to include what had been SB5 and was now HB2, and I attended each important meeting at the Capitol.
On that first day, pro-choice groups chanted loudly over scores of pro-lifers who were quietly praying on the second floor of the rotunda and singing “Amazing Grace.” I was so shocked. That behavior was repeated over and over. By that time, Planned Parenthood, NARAL pro choice, Occupy Austin, and the International Socialist Organization in Austin also were very active at the Capitol. Very young children on the lawn held signs it would be inappropriate for me to share in any forum. The vulgarity of the signs shocked me.
During this time, we spoke for nine hours on “Let Texas Speak.com,” streaming live to the world. The group in orange did not like this and taunted us during those nine hours with chants, signs, and other antics. Thankfully, the microphone was able to project our testimonies, songs, and prayers to the world while state troopers protected and kept the peace.
On July 12, the rotunda was again packed with protesters. I had waited in line with families before 6 a.m. Pro-choice groups in the rotunda were very loud in hopes of again disrupting the political process in the chambers. God be praised; with time on our side, the bill passed.
I hope the discussions at the Capitol with all the testimonies in the House and Senate changed lives.
Shockingly, many spoke of the need to “rescue” children from a possible life of poverty and abuse by aborting the unborn children. In order for a child to be born, must that child be first guaranteed a happy and fulfilled life? Who is ever guaranteed a “good” life? The womb should be a safe place for a baby.
The author writes under a pseudonym, concerned about safety issues following the recent legislative session.
Your Opinions and Comments
Be the first to comment on this story!
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Section A: General News Archives
Berger earns Ph.D. from Columbia University (May 18, 2016)
Brahma Happenings (May 18, 2016)
Burning body spurs murder investigation (May 18, 2016)
Can I negotiate? (May 18, 2016)
Court Update (May 18, 2016)
Editorial: Narrow views promote intellectual, moral dry rot (May 18, 2016)
Editorial: The political climate in America goes from bad to worse (May 18, 2016)
Falls City ISD’s new K-12 building almost complete (May 18, 2016)
Floresville parks master plan would relocate ball fields (May 18, 2016)
Floresville parks plan wins council approval (May 18, 2016)
Foundation awards $9K in grants (May 18, 2016)
Foundation opens health grant process (May 18, 2016)
Graco recalls booster seats (May 18, 2016)
Grass fires on the rise (May 18, 2016)
Letter: An open letter to Congress (May 18, 2016)
Letter: Illegal immigration: Who will laugh last? (May 18, 2016)
Letter: What Hispanic vote? (May 18, 2016)
Lone Star Greys to meet (May 18, 2016)
Meeting Watch: La Vernia City Council (May 18, 2016)
Meeting Watch: Poth ISD (May 18, 2016)
Police Blotter (May 18, 2016)
Police recover one of two stolen trucks (May 18, 2016)
Register for free watercolor lesson (May 18, 2016)
Stockdale campus to get upgrade soon (May 18, 2016)
Stockdale City Council approves electronic payment processing (May 18, 2016)
TAMU-SA matches student scholarships (May 18, 2016)
Time to make plans to attend Jubilee (May 18, 2016)
Want fire protection? Attend May 19 hearing (May 18, 2016)
Acme Gold Buyers marks fifth year in Floresville (May 11, 2016)
All Veterans Job Fair (May 11, 2016)
Cemetery group to meet (May 11, 2016)
Children’s Alliance enhances care services (May 11, 2016)
China Grove mayor, police chief trade barbs at meeting (May 11, 2016)
Commissioners lukewarm toward hot coffee at library (May 11, 2016)
Competency and integrity (May 11, 2016)
Court Update (May 11, 2016)
Coy to get Ranger Cross (May 11, 2016)
Cub Scout Roundup (May 11, 2016)
Donate blood in May (May 11, 2016)
Editor: Trump’s candidacy sets in motion affliction in future elections (May 11, 2016)
Editorial: The voters have spoken — well, some of them have! (May 11, 2016)
Former Sutherland Springs VFD considered as a substation (May 11, 2016)
Free caregivers class starts May 26 (May 11, 2016)
Information sought in Walmart theft (May 11, 2016)
Lack of super majority vote keeps Clean Water Rule flowing (May 11, 2016)
Leetter: The government is a terrible investor (May 11, 2016)
Letter: Injection well site is near river, creeks (May 11, 2016)
Letter: Stop being negative (May 11, 2016)
LV youths win new wheels at Bike Rodeo (May 11, 2016)
Meeting Watch: La Vernia ISD (May 11, 2016)
Mineral rights workshop set (May 11, 2016)
Miss LV Pageant, Bluebonnet Parade, graduation fill La Vernia calendar (May 11, 2016)
New Wilson County justice center nears completion (May 11, 2016)
Personalized brick for Veterans Memorial (May 11, 2016)
Police Blotter (May 11, 2016)
Precinct 3 primary runoff is May 24 (May 11, 2016)
Rangers to honor Lorenz (May 11, 2016)
Rohrs takes over Floresville athletics (May 11, 2016)
Tanneberger qualifies for Executive Club membership (May 11, 2016)
Voters respond: One bond passes, another fails (May 11, 2016)
Wednesday morning crash injures nine (May 11, 2016)
AACOG plans public meeting (May 4, 2016)
Accident injures two drivers (May 4, 2016)
AgriLife offers tips to protect from Zika, other mosquito-borne diseases (May 4, 2016)
Behind the lens: Solitary stillness (May 4, 2016)
Celebration Mass June 12 (May 4, 2016)
Cemetery association meeting (May 4, 2016)
Condos are fine, but do your research (May 4, 2016)
Court Update (May 4, 2016)
Crime Stoppers aids police anonymously (May 4, 2016)
DA, DPS bust nets 86 charges (May 4, 2016)
Debate over citizens comments dominates Floresville council (May 4, 2016)
Dwellings At Home offers lodge, ranch furnishings, more (May 4, 2016)
Editorial: Overbearing city council threatens boards’ independence (May 4, 2016)
Editorial: Taking personal responsibility will bring possibilities (May 4, 2016)
Editorial: Trump is the same old song with one more verse (May 4, 2016)
FEDC tables recommendation of master parks plan (May 4, 2016)
FELPS tornado repair continues as FEMA help stalls (May 4, 2016)
Floresville Chamber Luncheon May 18 (May 4, 2016)
Hall of Fame inductees: Joe Kotwig, Malcolm and Beverly Talley (May 4, 2016)
Letter: Alamo Colleges: A bust for Floresville (May 4, 2016)
Local nursing homes plan Senior Olympics May 9-13 (May 4, 2016)
Look twice for motorcycle riders (May 4, 2016)
Lyssy’s vault earns gold, sets records! (May 4, 2016)
Medicaid, CHIP application assistance (May 4, 2016)
Meeting Watch: Wilson County Commissioners Court (May 4, 2016)
National Day of Prayer May 5 (May 4, 2016)
Police Blotter (May 4, 2016)
Ramirez promoted to colonel (May 4, 2016)
Reserve a seat for SA Tea Party (May 4, 2016)
Tanneberger tops in sales (May 4, 2016)
Treviño prepares to take reins of East Central athletics (May 4, 2016)