This is the text of a message that, yes, I have sent to Rick Perry. If you would like to do the same, you can send a message here or here. (I used both.) I wish I could give you a direct email, but if he’s made that available to the public, I can’t find it. (If you do, please tell me in the comments!)
For those who don’t know – Perry is calling another special session for SB5. He says, and I quote, “We will not allow the breakdown of decorum and decency to prevent us from doing what the people of this state hired us to do.”
My response is below the cut.
Shame on you.
I watched what happened last night. I watched it live. As did nearly 100,000 other people, at home and abroad. And you’re right, there was a breakdown of decorum and decency.
There was neither decorum nor decency displayed when Republican senators talked on their phones, played electronic games, and laughed uproariously while Senator Davis read actual testimony of actual women, talking about the hardest and most heartbreaking moments of their lives. A woman bared her soul to talk about the day she discovered that her unborn daughter could never survive, about having to pick out a headstone instead of decorating a nursery, and about her difficult decision to abort in order to spare her innocent child as much pain as possible – and the men trying to pass a law to deny her that option did not even have the courtesy to listen to her story.
There was neither decorum nor decency on display when Republicans – spitefully, hatefully – called a point of order against Senator Davis for needing a back brace.
There was neither decorum nor decency on display when Republicans claimed, falsely and dishonestly, that speaking about earlier bills to control women’s reproductive choices were somehow “not germane” in the discussion of this bill.
There was neither decorum nor decency on display when a “three strikes” rule was employed against Senator Davis, even though your Senate’s own rules state that it specifically refers to three points of order on the topic of germaneness, not two on that topic and one on the topic of aid – nor when the other Senators who tried to point this out were talked over and ignored, their concerns shrugged off as if the rules did not matter when they applied to Republicans.
There was neither decorum nor decency on display when Senator Van de Putte – who was there that night at great personal cost to herself and her family – was ignored, silenced, and talked over.
There was neither decorum nor decency on display when an elderly woman was arrested and taken away in handcuffs for demonstrating for her own rights and the rights of women like her.
There was neither decorum nor decency on display when the Republican Senators acted like spoiled children and insisted on voting on the bill even though it was after midnight, ignoring those who told them that this was against the rules.
There was neither decorum nor decency on display when your State Troopers confiscated the water bottles that supporters around the country had sent for the activists still waiting inside as the Senators spoke in caucus, distributing the water amongst themselves instead of giving it to the thirsty people who had been there for hours – and would be there for hours more – for whom it was intended.
And, Governor Perry, there was absolutely no decorum nor decency involved in the illegal attempt to falsify the official timestamp to make it seem as though the vote took place before midnight. Make no mistake, the eyes of Texas and of the world were on the Senate when that happened, and those responsible will be held accountable.
Oh, yes, Governor, there was indeed a marked lack of both decorum and decency.
But none of it can be placed at the feet of Senator Davis and her supporters in the stands.
You are trying to pass a law that will kill women. I say this again, with no melodrama and no exaggeration – it will kill women. Women will die who would have lived without this bill. And that’s not taking into account the toll of human suffering, for both women and children, that will result.
Senator Davis and the activists who support her were fighting for their own lives and safety, and the lives and safety of women they love. The fact that they confined their fight to civil discourse and the rule of law is admirable and noble. The fact that those opposing them tried to flaunt the rule of law to do so is despicable. And the fact that you are giving them a second chance to do so is shameful.
Governor Perry, do not talk about what “the people of this state” want their legislators to do. The people of Texas made their will known last night. Loudly, passionately, beautifully. By calling for another special session, you spit on their courage and on the entire democratic process. You should be ashamed of yourself.
Jennifer Christine Griffin