Stand with Texas Women rally rolls into San Antonio

Bus tour rallies support against tougher abortion rest­rictions

SAN ANTONIO - The Stand with Texas Women bus tour making stops statewide rolled into San Antonio Thursday to rally a crowd of hundreds against House Bill 2.

The giant orange buses rallied supporters in Austin before hitting the road for similar events in Houston, Fort Worth and Dallas.

Among those on the bus are Planned Parenthood officials and numerous Senate Democrats. Namely, Fort Worth Sen. Wendy Davis.

“We've had enough of partisan leaders who are putting their own careers above the health and safety of Texas women and the people who love them,” said Davis to a cheering crowd of hundreds holding signs and wearing the tour’s signature orange color.

Davis became a key player in the legislative wrangling over this issue after her 11 hour filibuster helped the bill fail in the Senate on June 25.

After Gov. Rick Perry declared “mob rule” prevented the bill from passing and ordered a second special legislative session, debate on the bill is set to begin again in the Senate on Friday.

House Bill 2 tightens restrictions on abortions by banning them after 20 weeks, requiring they be done in surgical centers, requiring doctors have admission privileges to hospitals and dictating when the abortion pill can be taken.

Outside the gates of Sunset Station Thursday, those who support the tighter restrictions lined the street chanting “vote for life.”

“If you look at this picture,” said Sylvia Villareal, holding a picture of a baby born prematurely, “its not a piece of tissue. Enough is enough and people need to get their voices out here. We need to protect life.”

“To think about all the parents out there, the men and women who could miss out on a beautiful child, it just breaks my heart. So I felt like I needed to be here,” said Alma Martinez, who chose to have her daughter at the age of 19.

Back inside the rally, Mayor Julian Castro also addressed the crowd saying, “This issue is no longer about democrats or republicans. This is about respect.”

“I just have a real strong sense that human rights are being infringed here,” said Sandy Morrison, who attended the rally. “Government telling us what we can and can’t do despite what our lover or husband or doctor might say. That just feels so intrinsically wrong to me.”

Meanwhile, at a press conference in Austin Thursday, some Republicans shared their support for the legislation.

“For the life of me, I cannot understand why people would be against safer conditions for when women have abortions,” said Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.

Many of the speakers at Thursday’s rally echoed the line “we may lose this battle, but we will win the war,” acknowledging that House Bill 2 will likely pass this time around in the Senate.

“Here we are in San Antonio and what better representation of not giving up the fight even if you believe that things might be lost in that moment,” said Davis. “And the Alamo and the brave Texans who fought there is an incredible example of that.”

IMAGES: Supporters, opponents of Texas abortion bill rally in San Antonio

For a list of recent stories Myra Arthur has done, click here.


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