The Texas House passed the most restrictive anti-abortion bill in America and sent it to the Senate on July 10, meanwhile 200 of us rallied in front of City Hall. The big orange bus brought notables from the Texas Senate. They were joined by our local heroes and heroines. On the previous night, Houston had over 1,000 at a rally. From Dallas, the bus went on to another big rally in Fort Worth that night. Speakers in Dallas said that Republicans are conducting a war on women that is much broader than the abortion issue. Cecile Richards, National President of Planned Parenthood, said that earlier legislation passed in Texas had already severely cut access to health care for the poorest Texas women.
Several State Senators, all Democrats, spoke out for women's rights. Among the local people were County Judge Craig Jenkins and City Councilwoman Monica Alonzo. Senator Sylvia Garcia of Houston took a strong stand, which might indicate that Democrats are not afraid of losing Latino votes over the abortion issue, despite the reactionary role of the Catholic church on women's rights.
Planned Parenthood provides orange T-shirts with a big Texas logo for anyone who will volunteer in the fight. Union members, if they had turned out in numbers, might have complained that the shirts weren't made in America. Nevertheless, Texas media is being deluged by visuals of big crowds making up an orange ocean.
Other speakers were sure to make the point that Cecile Richards is also the daughter of Ann Richards, the last Democratic Governor of Texas. Senator Kirk Watson put it directly, "Texas needs a woman governor!" The crowd is raising expectations for progressive candidates in 2014. They ended the rally yelling, "Turn Texas Blue! Turn Texas Blue!"
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