#PissedAtPerry: Why I’m Mad About SB 5 and You Should Be, Too

By Kari R.
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I am #PissedAtPerry.

And before we begin, I’d like to share with you my ode to him:

Oh Rick Perry, thou art a right cad
When you thought it wise to add
A second special legislative session
To restrict basic reproductive rights.
I thought you would have learned a lesson
From the hundreds of people protesting through the night.
How could you be so out of touch with reality?
But I guess that was silly of me.

Oh Rick Perry, thou art truly foul
You give me such a scowl
To say that you are giving  Texans a voice
When so many that night chanted for choice.
And then to shame Wendy Davis for her motherhood?
You have stooped lower than I thought you ever could
No matter what rules you bend in this fight
We know that we are in the right.

I imagine it didn’t really need saying but for my own sake, let me reiterate. I AM PISSED AT PERRY.

Yesterday I found out that Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered a second special session of the state legislature specifically to pass an anti-abortion measure that could close 37 out of the state’s 42 abortion clinics. Yes, I said 37 out of 42 total clinics in the state of Texas could be closed if this bill passes.

I should probably clarify – the bill in question, Senate Bill 5, [PDF] is no typical piece of anti-choice legislation. It is essentially the combination of EVERY PIECE OF ANTI-CHOICE LEGISLATION. The variety of TRAP laws we’ve seen so far? In Senate Bill 5. Bans on abortion after 20 weeks into a pregnancy based on the idea that the fetus can feel pain, which is scientifically inconclusive, and were ruled unconstitutional? In Senate Bill 5.

Senate Bill 5 does the following things:

  1. Bans abortions after 20 weeks gestation except in cases where the woman would die otherwise
  2. Specifically determines that severe fetal abnormalities are NOT a valid exception
  3. Makes no exception for victims of rape or incest
  4. Requires any clinic that performs abortions to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers, even if they only provide medication abortions
  5. Requires any doctor performing an abortion to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic
  6. Requires a doctor to perform the procedure that has the greatest chance the fetus will survive (I’m not kidding – “Except as otherwise provided by Section 171.046(a)(3), a physician performing an abortion under Subsection (a) shall terminate the pregnancy in the manner that, in the physician’s reasonable medical judgment, provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive.”)

This piece of legislation is so ridiculous that opponents pulled out their entire arsenal to stop it. Senator Wendy Davis (D-Forth Worth) spent 11 hours on Tuesday filibustering the bill in an attempt to run out the clock on the end of the special legislative session. She couldn’t sit, use the restroom, eat, or even lean on the podium. When conservatives tried to shut down her filibuster on procedure technicalities, the HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE in the Capitol protesting the bill started chanting “Shame!” and “Let her speak!” They caused such a ruckus, the final vote wasn’t taken until 11:45pm and by the time it was concluded the special session had expired.

But now, Perry has called a second special session. The legislature can only address the bills he dictates: guess which one is first?

SB 5, of course!

Perry is pushing an ideological agenda. It’s nothing new: Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli bullied the Board of Health into passing a restrictive TRAP law in an effort to limit women’s reproductive rights. But Rick Perry went one step further by also trying to shame Wendy Davis for being a teenage mother. Watch the video for yourself:

https://youtu.be/zB2P9CSxAdY

In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”

Rick Perry

… Are you kidding me?…

We have to fight back. We can’t let the most conservative lawmakers abuse the system to get their way. So what can we do? We will take to the streets. We will overrun the internet.

They think they have the public on their side, but we know otherwise. It was the massive response in the Capitol that helped Wendy Davis defeat SB 5 the first time. We now have the responsibility to make it known that we won’t stand for this – but not everyone is in Texas or can get there (like me.)

Take to Twitter. I know I am! Use the tag #PissedatPerry. Here are some sample tweets, but feel free to write your own feelings as you will. And remember, We may not be able to channel all of our feelings into 140 characters, but we can certainly channel them into TEN tweets of 140 characters. (#SB5 is the tag for activists working on this issue, and so is #feministarmy. Talk to them there.)

  • Pro Child. Pro Family. Pro Choice. #PissedatPerry
  • Lawmakers were elected to listen to the people, not push an ideology #PissedatPerry
  • I #StandwithWendy and I’m #PissedatPerry
  • Restricting abortion doesn’t reduce it – it makes it unsafe #PissedatPerry
  • Pro-life men have got to go, when you get pregnant let me know #PissedatPerry
  • Protect women. Reject #SB5 #PissedatPerry

Take to Facebook. Take to Tumblr.  Share this image.

pissedatperry_FB

And share memes.

pissedatperry1
PERRY MEME
pisssedatperry2

We’ve seen change come from activism on the ground in Texas, and we know activism online reaches audiences broadly and instantaneously. We know our voices matter. We have to be heard.

We’re #PissedAtPerry. And we need to let him know.

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