Texas Governor Rick Perry directs a comment toward Senator Wendy Davis (D-TX), who delivered an 11-hour filibuster over a Texas anti-abortion bill.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry said on Thursday that the Democratic state lawmaker who halted a restrictive abortion law “hasn’t learned from her own example” after having been born into adversity and becoming a teenage mother before going on to success as a Harvard law grad and legislator.
Texas lawmaker Wendy Davis said she feels great after defying expectations and filibustering for 11 hours to block a bill that would have closed the doors of 37 of the state's 42 abortion clinics. In the process, she inspired a social media movement, becoming the top Twitter event worldwide. NBC's Chris Jansing reports.
Speaking at the National Right to Life Convention in Dallas, Perry accused Wendy Davis, a Texas Democrat who on Tuesday spoke for 11 hours to filibuster a bill that critics said would have virtually done away with abortions in the state, of “hijacking the democratic process.”
Perry, who has called for a second special session of the state legislature to pass the measure, told those gathered that it was lawmakers’ duty to prevent abortions, regardless of the conditions into which a child may be born.
“Even the woman who filibustered in the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances," Perry said. "It's 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."
Perry, a one-time contender for the GOP presidential nod, cited Davis’ list of accomplishments, including graduating from Harvard Law School and becoming a state senator in Texas.
Democrats have championed Davis’ efforts, which required her to stand and speak for hours without ever leaning or using the bathroom.
“Rick Perry’s remarks are incredibly condescending and insulting to women,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement. “This is exactly why the vast majority of Texans believe that politicians shouldn’t be involved in a woman’s personal health care decisions.”
Along with banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, the measure would have required all clinics to be graded as surgical centers, with all doctors required to have admitting privileges at hospitals. Many of the state’s clinics would likely fail to meet the new standards.
But on Thursday, Perry called the filibuster “mob tactics” that prevented the passage of a bill supported by the residents of Texas.
Perry vowed to pass the legislation setting strict new limits on abortions in the state during the special legislative session slated to begin July 1.