This week marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and an estimated 3,000 Texans marched through downtown Austin on Saturday afternoon to protest the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision that allowed women the right to choose. The march ended with a Texas Rally for Life on the south steps of the Texas Capitol, where activists heard speeches from the most prominent politicians in the state.
Gov. Rick Perry told the crowd that during his tenure as governor, Texas has restricted abortions by passing laws requiring parental notification and consent for minors, and demanding women receive a sonogram and have the fetus described to them before the procedure. “We took those steps to help ensure that those making the decision between life and death make the most informed, responsible, decision possible,” he said. “Despite all those efforts, as many as 80,000 lives are lost to abortion each year in our state.”
Perry advocated for abortions clinics being held to the same standards as surgical facilities such as hospitals. That’s a standard many clinics can’t meet, and if the Texas Legislature enacts it this session, some clinics could be forced to close. And, for Perry, that’s the point. The ideal world is a world without abortion, he said. “Until then, however, we will continue to pass laws to ensure abortions are as rare as possible under existing law.”
Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood abortion clinic director turned pro-life hero, called the crowd to action through prayer, volunteerism and abortion clinic stake-outs. “We must stand up for these families, for these women, for these men who are lied to and coerced into taking the lives of their children,” she said. (It should be noted that some of Johnson’s past claims about what goes on inside abortion clinics have been fabrications.) “If you have not gone and stood outside of an abortion clinic and prayed, you better go do it.
“It is not something you should do, it is something you must do,” Johnson said.