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Thousands attend demonstration on Texas abortion bill SB1

Thousands attend demonstration on Texas abortion bill SB1

The battle over reproductive rights in Texas is still raging. This past Monday night drew dueling demonstrations at the capitol over SB1, a strict bill that would severely limit abortions in the state of Texas. The bill’s author, State Senator Glenn Hegar, rejected exceptions for rape and incest or for women with pre-existing psychological conditions. One of the major sticking points in this bill is whether a 20-week fetus can feel pain.

The demonstration was a who's-who of pastors and politicians, some of which are still holding office. Other speakers included abortion rights activists who marched down Congress Avenue in Austin with the message that women’s rights are under attack, and they need to stand up and fight back.

Eight hours into testimony, state senators were still hearing testimony from the public on both sides of the issue. As many as 1,700 people signed up to testify, lining up and stating they would not take a break until all of them were heard.

A Fox News affiliate in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area reported that the testimony was pretty evenly divided among those for and against the bill.

Here is a video of some of the demonstration activities, including some pro-birth advocates supporting the bill. Harsh words were spoken by Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas, who shouted at the 1:45 mark,

"Anyone who opposes this bill, whether he or she realizes it, is a tool of Satan being used by Satan to accomplish Satan’s purpose of death."

Michelle Duggar, the mother of nineteen children, also attended, and said at the 2:10 mark of the video,

"There is a baby holocaust taking place where doctors and nurses are being paid to take the lives of innocent, unborn children."

Inside the venue, those opposing the bill asked questions such as,

“At what cost to you sell the women of Texas down the river?”


“If my vagina was a gun, you would stand for its rights.”

Two weeks earlier, Democratic Senator Wendy Davis of Ft. Worth helped prevent the original bill from passing after an 11 hour filibuster.

Here is the video:

About Al Stefanelli

Al is a retired author, writer and journalist. His books include "Free Thoughts - A Collection Of Essays By An American Atheist" and "A Voice Of Reason In An Unreasonable World - The Rise Of Atheism On Planet Earth." Al began writing in 1985, starting with the New York Times. In 1993 he joined a McClatchy newspaper, writing a weekly column for ten years. His writing continues to be widely distributed on the Internet and in print. He also produced and hosted a weekly syndicated radio broadcast from 1995 to 1998, and his work won a North Carolina Journalism award in 1998. Al is the former Georgia State Director for American Atheists, Inc., and served on the Board of Directors for "The Clergy Project." He is also a former Southern Baptist Pastor, having served two churches and as pulpit supply for three counties. Currently, he writes part time for The God Discussion, co-hosts the Internet radio programs, "The God Discussion Show" and "Reap Sow Radio." Al lives in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree City, GA.
  • skeptical

    The Texas Senate, House and Governor will pass this, regardless of the demonstrations.

    • Then they obviously don't care about women or what they want concenring their bodies and their health. Either that or the men jamming it through don't have a clue what it's like to be an incubator for 9 months, esp with serious health issues and/or a victim of rape.

  • No Brainer

    This whole abortion argument really is a no brainer. Forget about religion, forget about women's rights. If people paid attention during high school health class- we would not be having these discussions. All anyone with a brain has to do is look at an 8 week old fetus- with arms legs head etc developing and then even take it a step further and look at a 20 week fetus. It doesn't matter which photos you look at- that is undeniably beyond any reasonable doubt a human being in there. If the pregnant girl is murdered by a criminal- that criminal can be tried for DOUBLE MURDER because the courts see the unborn baby as a human being. So really our courts contract themselves. Is it murder or isn't it when someone aborts? I think a 3 year old could even figure that one out after looking at the photos of the unborn baby at 20 weeks.

    • Yes, it's a no brainer, alright. The men shoving it through are clueless about women's health issues and as one said, if a vagina (or rather uterus) were a gun, it would have rights.

      • Guest

        And if a fetus was a vagina, would you stand up for its rights?

        • That is the problem- no one is giving vaginas rights. How would you like to be stretched, torn, pulled, ripped, cut, etc just so some big head can get through, maybe even dying, just so that big head could pop out, to live minutes to years?

          Fetuses are not independent living human beings. They only survive by being parasitic. Even my drs with both my pregnancies said this and from actually studying natal development and that could go wrong, including death, I've come to the conclusion the drs are right. Once born they don't need an "incubator" to keep them alive. There is a difference between a fetus and a baby. So if the mother's life is in danger, she'd been rape, or the fetus would not develop into having a quality life, no I would not say it needed rights. The person(s) who need rights are the one's who must endure 9 months and be allowed their own choices and decisions about their bodies and whether or not they will carry that child to term.

          However, if you think a blastocyst, a zygote and a fetus deserves rights, let me ask you this, esp if you believe in a god…. How come "God" does not give rights to fetuses and kills more unborn children, not just in the Bile, but also in real life? In fact, there are more spontaneous abortions (miscarriages) prior to the second trimester, then women choosing an abortion. Nature or God, which ever you prefer, is a cruel mistress/master when it comes to fetuses esp.

        • A very good example of what I was saying in my last post (below)- My mother had a fibroid uterus that caused her to haemorrhage and could have killed her. She had it removed. Prior to that, she had Graves Disease. Her thyroid was killed with radio active Iodine and she lives on Theroxin (a thyroid hormone replacement), has for years. Years later, she had stage 3 breast cancer in one breast. She had it removed and is alive 12 years later to tell about it. Nobody forced her to keep these things at the risk of her life. Why should any women be forced to keep anything that is a risk to her health, life, and well-being, including a fetus? She shouldn't. Therefore, the issue of rights is being misplaced.

    • Led

      It really isn't. By that same logic if a woman miscarries due to a preventable illness because her religion doesn't approve of the treatment then she should be charged with criminally negligent manslaughter. There would have to be a huge discussion on immigration policy if we start considering fetuses people too. It would also wreak havoc with tax law … but that's neither here nor there because these emotive arguments of life vs. rights, I believe, are secondary to the actual reason Reps are pushing this stuff so hard.

      Abortions are cheaper than pregnancies and the healthcare industry would rather rack up big fees for full-term pregnancies. Think about what these bills actually do, they don't legally prevent most abortions. They make it more costly to run a clinic, they make the price of the procedure go up … follow the money people.

    • Karin Karejanrakoi

      Something that is growing in *my* body is not ‘life’ unless I decide to regard it as such.

      If I do not want it there, it has no more ‘rights’ than a tumour.

      This is because, as a fellow-commenter said on another forum, a foetus is essentially parasitical – it needs a ‘host’ to grow. As a potential host, I have the right to *choose* whether I want to be an incubator – and *no man* has a right to question my reasons.

      • Exactly! I'd give you 3 "1 ups" if I could. 🙂

        • Karin Karejanrakoi

          Thank you!

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  • Karin Karejanrakoi

    Poor sad, scared god-bothering tinky-winks and their even sadder female abettors!

    Let us hear no more twaddle about “killing/saving babies,” “…precious new life” or “… the consequences of having sex,” much less any more hysterical nonsense about mythical bogey-men called “Satan.” The real agenda around controlling women’s bodies and women’s fertility – in whatever religious bullshit language it is couched – is about *property*.

    Those who have it want to make sure that it is inherited only by *their* offspring – hence their obsession with female ‘purity’ and ‘fidelity’ – while assuring themselves of a continual supply of docile and obedient slaves to make *their* society run in *their* interests – hence their opposition to contraception and abortion … for those not of their own class.

    That’s really all there is to it.

    In a *sane* society, abortion, performed under the strictest conditions of medical hygiene, would be legal at any stage in pregnancy, rational education on sex and sexuality and proper contraceptive advice, as well as unrestricted access to information on their own health, would be the prerogative of all women and men,
    and women would have the right to equal pay and equal opportunity in the workplace, as well as free, high-quality childcare, the right to bodily autonomy and self-determination (i.e. the right to choose whether or not to have sex without fear of forced pregnancy or with the partner of their choice without social censure) and the right to live without fear of rape or domestic violence.

    Sadly, as 'godly' as US society may be, I see little evidence that it is sane.

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