As the Texas legislature prepares to vote, again, on a new bill that would severely restrict abortion rights for women across the Lone Star State (It was defeated the first time by Wendy Davis' historic filibuster) a YouTube user made this parody of "I'm Just a Bill" from the '70s educational series "Schoolhouse Rock," with lyrics adjusted to fit the current assault on women's rights in Texas.
Here's a snippet:
I'm a bad bill
I'm a really bad bill
And if they vote for me I think I'll be ill
Well, then I'm off to Rick Perry
You know he wants to sign
I'm red meat for the base
Oops! he must have lost his mind
If he signs me, then I'll be a law
How I hope and pray Wendy will
Stand up tall so I stay just a bill
Unfortunately, the bill will likely become a law as the GOP continues its' nationwide assault on all things strongly supported by Democratic progressives at the state level.
Hundreds of pro-choice Texans protested looming anti-abortion bills at the Capitol in Austin on Sunday by holding a "People's Filibuster."
The Texas House tentatively passed the sweeping abortion bill that would ban the procedure after 20 weeks and would tighten restrictions on clinics so much that nearly all of them in the state would be forced to close. The bill tenatively passed 97–33 at 3:20 a.m. after 13.5 hours of debate, with 19 legislators not present—18 of whom are Democrats. The final vote passed early Monday morning.
A few in the crowd broke out in applause after the bill’s passage, but they were drowned out by cries of “Shame.” The bill still requires a final vote from the House later today before heading to the Senate, where Democrats have vowed a filibuster.
Andrea Grimes, from RH Reality Check was at the Capitol on Sunday for the People's Filibuster, and has written an open letter to anyone who's ready to "write off" Texas:
"Texas is not a throw-away state full of throw-away people who can be shrugged off with a contemptuous, “Well, what do you expect?” Texas is not an outlier. Texas is a test case for right-wingers with their eyes on the coasts and, as Congress showed this week, Washington, D.C.
Three days ago, hundreds of pro-choice activists slammed a House State Affairs committee with just 24 hours’ notice, sending committee chairman Rep. Byron Cook into a full-fledged fluster as he tried to shut them out and shut them up.
Organizers expected this people’s filibuster to be a Hail Mary pass. Instead, it became a rallying cry for Texans who have, for years, felt ignored by Republican and Tea Party legislators who listen only to a handful of anti-science, anti-choice, anti-medicine Bible-thumpers, and who have been wholly disenfranchised by an openly racist redistricting system that explicitly sought to exclude people of color from voting in meaningful numbers for their representatives.
Indeed, I think we can forgive Texans for being a little meek when their anti-choice (“pro-life”) representatives straight up threaten them with guns for holding opposing views."
I think there are at least 700 brave women's rights activists who are going to need some solidarity pizza and coffee during the senate filibuster of this attack on our sisters in Texas.
In this video, protesters and lawmakers react to the House vote. Democratic Rep. Dawanna Dukes tells the pro-choice activists that because of them, "This fight is not over."
Opponents of an Arizona proposal to limit birth control coverage sent knitted uteri with large, glued-on plastic eyes to more than 12 state lawmakers in clear plastic bags. Each gift was accompanied by a letter from a woman who is against the bill. Proponents of the bill say employers shouldn’t have to provide contraception if it violates the organization’s religious stance. Opponents say the measure would violate a woman’s right to privacy. Arizona lawmakers are expected to vote on the bill next week.
This is Bob McDonnell's Virginia: The Virginia state capitol was the scene of an enormous women's rights protest. A peaceful protest, with young, old, and everything in between, men and women alike. The overreaction by the police was appalling and shows the extent to which the Republican party is willing to use police power to suppress peaceful dissent.
Thirty-one women's-rights demonstrators were arrested this afternoon in a protest at the state Capitol that drew hundreds of protesters and Virginia State Police in riot gear.
Capt. Raymond Goodloe of the Virginia Division of Capitol Police
said 17 women and 14 men were arrested. He did not have a breakdown on charges but said those arrested were likely accused of either trespassing or unalawful assembly.
The arrests took place after some protesters, who had marched on downtown streets before entering Capitol Square, refused to leave the south steps of the Capitol. They were hauled off by officers and taken away in a bus parked nearby while other armed officers held protesters at bay with riot shields.
The demonstration came after the General Assembly approved hotly disputed legislation that requires women to have an ultrasound before getting an abortion.
The group had a permit to rally at the Bell Tower on Capitol Square earlier in the day, but Goodloe (The Virginia Capitol Police Captain) said rallies are not allowed on the Capitol steps. The group had planned to march to the Executive Mansion where Gov. Bob McDonnell lives after the rally.
Another report from the Washington Post, or rather a Washington Post fail. This is the headline:
"More than 30 arrested at abortion rally in Richmond"
Del. Delores L. McQuinn, D-Richmond, tonight spoke out against the arrests of 31 women's rights demonstrators in a protest at the state Capitol earlier today that drew Virginia State Police in riot gear.
She said the arrests "are just the latest example of government overreach that we’ve seen in recent weeks."
"The men and women who marched on Capitol Square have a right to peacefully protest without the threat that they will be arrested for exercising that right," McQuinn said in a news release. "At several recent women’s rights events, there has been an overabundance of police presence. In fact, the Capitol Police tactical team has been at all of the events," she said.
McQuinn said she had "never seen a similar police presence when guns rights advocates assemble on Capitol Square on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday."
McQuinn called the arrests "a sad reminder that our progress towards equality for all Virginians has not been achieved.”
Much, much more at Daily Kos - including more videos, photos and details from a Virginia blogger. Interesting note, that Washington Post headline fail that I mentioned? It seems that was an attempt to correct the original headline! Info on that at Kos as well.