Blog of Rights

Showdown in the Lone Star State: Report Back from Today’s Rally in Austin

By Rekha Arulanantham, ACLU at 4:10pm

Wow. What a day. I was so proud to be able to stand with Texas women today as 5000 orange-clad activists came to the capitol in Austin to stop the attack on women's reproductive health care. Last week, I was cheering from the sidelines when state Senator Wendy Davis caught the nation's attention as she stood in her pink sneakers and performed an epic 13-hour filibuster to block a bill that could have shut down nearly every abortion clinic in the state. Today, so inspired by her commitment, I was in the crowd.

I not only stood with Wendy Davis, today, I stood with mothers, doctors, religious leaders, college students, and other Texans from all walks of life and from all across the state who came to have their voices heard. Enough is enough. The attacks on reproductive health care have to stop. Politicians need to stop interfering in women's private medical decisions about their health and families. What happens in Texas happens to all of us.

I hope Governor Perry and politicians throughout the country who have been waging this war on women and reproductive health care are paying attention. If our sheer numbers were not enough today, I hope they heard Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood telling politicians that we've been shut down and told to shut up. "Can you hear us now?" She asked as the crowd cheered loud enough for those the Capitol gallery to hear.

I hope today's rally and the support we heard ringing out throughout the country got through to Governor Perry and his supporters. They may have thought we were too stupid to realize what they were up to, too busy to pay attention to their political shenanigans, but I am here to tell you, that we stood together in Austin today and made it clear that it is time to end the war on women and stop the attacks on abortion and other reproductive health care.

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