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Tomorrow: Texas House Hears Abortion Bills

by: Shelby Alexander

Sat Jun 22, 2013 at 07:31 PM CDT

Took most of this text from NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, feel free to pass along, and we hope you can join us tomorrow! -Shelby Alexander

We need as many people as possible to come to the Capitol tomorrow, Sunday, June 23rd, starting at 1pm, to protest the passage of bills that would strip Texans of their reproductive rights.

From Thursday afternoon into the wee hours Friday morning, hundreds of pro-choice Texans from around the state descended upon the Texas Capitol to testify against HB 60 and HB 16 in the House State Affairs Committee. Testimony lasted nearly 10 hours, but when the chair cut us off at 3:40 a.m., hundreds of people still had not had their chance to speak.

We deserve to be heard. These bills would close all but 5 abortion clinics in the state of Texas and ban all abortions after 20 weeks, with no exception for sexual assault. These bills will have a devastating effect on reproductive access in Texas and the majority of Texans do not support this level of restriction.

Join us tomorrow, Sunday, June 23. We saw an historic and unprecedented gathering on Thursday and Friday, and let's bring out a large crowd again. You can find the Facebook event here.

What is happening is history in the making. See you tomorrow!

If you are not available at 1pm, but can come later, please do! If you plan on coming at 1pm, please understand that it is going to be a very long night, so come prepared with blankets, pillows, chargers - whatever you need to keep you comfortable and connected while we wait. We will have the Legislative Conference Center available to us as a refueling/recharging station, but the main action will be in the House Gallery, and we want as many people as possible to be present there until it's over!

Also, did you write testimony for the State Affairs Committee hearing but were unable to speak? Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas is collecting the statements, stories and testimonies of those who were not given the chance to speak. If you have something to share, please include your name and residential address at the top of your testimony and email it to austincommunity@ppgt.org.

Can you not make it to the Capitol tomorrow? Follow the jump, and here are some things you can do from home.

Make sure you call the following:

1. Speaker Joe Straus: Since the Speaker Joe Straus oversees many of the actions of the House. We need to let him know we do not approve ANY of these anti-choice bills, and that if they decide not to play by the rules like the Senate, they will continue to hear from us.

2. Call your own State Rep! Call your Senator too. Encourage them no matter what that they need to vote against HB 60, HB 16, and SB 5.

Here is a script you can use for each of the following:

"Hello, I wanted to express my concern due to the Texas Legislature taking up dangerous measures to decrease access to health care in our state. I wanted to express my displeasure to hear that Chairman Byron Cook cut off public testimony while hundreds were still waiting to speak during the state affairs committee hearing on HB60. Many Texans had traveled from across the state and waited nearly 10 hours for the chance to testify against the bill.

Other legislators have said its unprecedented to cut off public testimony in this manner and that they had never seen anything like what happened last night in terms of citizen turnout to a committee hearing. To stifle that public participation is a sad day for Texas democracy. The Texas Senate already went to extreme measures to force these bills on a public that does not want them. I hope you will stand with Texas women, respect the democratic process, and vote against any measure that restricts access to health care."

1. Speaker Straus' phone number and email can be found here

2. You can look up your own representation here

3. And here are their twitter handles for those who have them.

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