Ms. Sarah Slamen: Women’s Rights Activist Dragged Out Of Texas State Senate


 

By Jueseppi B.

n_lw_4slamen_130710.video-260x195

 

 

Sarah Slamen, Texas Woman, Dragged Out Of Senate Amid Fiery Testimony Against Abortion Bill

 

The Huffington Post  |  By 

 

Published on Jul 10, 2013

By the time Sarah Slamen finally got to testify against a restrictive anti-abortion bill in front of a Texas state Senate committee this week, her plans had changed, she told Daily Kos in a recent interview.

After a long drive to Austin from Central Texas and an hours-long wait in the state capitol, it was 11 p.m. on Monday, and the 28-year-old no longer wanted to talk about the ways Gov. Rick Perry‘s (R) sister could stand to benefit financially from the legislation. Instead, Slamen took the opportunity to voice her frustration over a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and shutter almost all of the state’s abortion clinics. Before she could finish, however, she was surrounded by state troopers and forcibly removed from the chamber.

 

 

 

 

images

 

TEXAS state legislators knew they were in for a rocky ride when they convened this week to tighten the law on abortion. But they didn’t know just how difficult things would be until a young woman called Sarah Slamen took the floor.

 

Sarah-Slamen-being-removed-from-the-Texas-Senate-Screenshot

 

skitched-20130710-085027

 

 

 

By the time Sarah Slamen finally got to testify against a restrictive anti-abortion bill in front of a Texas state Senate committee this week, her plans had changed, she told Daily Kos in a recent interview.

 

After a long drive to Austin from Central Texas and an hours-long wait in the state capitol, it was 11 p.m. on Monday, and the 28-year-old no longer wanted to talk about the ways Gov. Rick Perry’s (R) sister could stand to benefit financially from the legislation. Instead, Slamen took the opportunity to voice her frustration over a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and shutter almost all of the state’s abortion clinics. Before she could finish, however, she was surrounded by state troopers and forcibly removed from the chamber.

 

Abortion rights activists demonstrate outside the floor of the House after the HB2 bill restricting abortion rights passed in Austin, Texas

 

 

Here’s the bit of Slamen’s testimony that apparently upset state Sen. Jane Nelson (R), who was overseeing the proceedings:

“Thank you for being you, Texas legislature. You have radicalized hundreds of thousands of us, and no matter what you do for the next 22 days, women and their allies are coming for you,” Slamen said. “Let’s start down the line. Senator Campbell, you’re an ophthalmologist. So I won’t be making you the expert on reproductive health. We can give you all the children with chlamydia and herpes in their eyes, since we don’t have Sex Ed in this state.”

 

Sen. Jane Nelson (R), who was overseeing the proceedings.

Sen. Jane Nelson (R), who was overseeing the proceedings….and had Ms. Slamen “dragged out of chambers.”

 

Nelson slammed her gavel and accused Slamen of being disrespectful. Slamen shot back, “Excuse me, this is my government, ma’am. I will judge you.”

 

As the state troopers began to drag her out of the room, Slamen left with some parting words.

 

“This is a farce. The Texas legislature is a bunch of liars who hate women,” she said.

 

Lawmakers in the Texas House are expected to pass the controversial abortion restrictions in a final vote on Wednesday. It will then go to the state Senate for final passage. State Sen. Wendy Davis (D), who successfully blocked an earlier version of the bill two weeks ago, has said it will likely be approved this time around.

 

 

texas-protest-300x224

 

 

Interview with Ms. Sarah Slamen conducted by Horace Boothroyd III for The Daily KOS:

 

Feel free to ignore any questions you would not care to respond to no explanation needed. Also feel free to add anything you would like to say that I don’t cover or ask about.

 

First off, what was your prepared statement?

I’d prepared a statement outlining Milla Perry Jones, sister of Governor Rick Perry’s involvement as head lobbyist for allied surgical centers and doctor-owned hospitals. As the Texas Observer explained its Dec 2012 “Sister Act” article, doctor owned facilities are notorious for driving up costs because of financial incentive to overcharge for tests, procedures, services. They’ve thrown over $4,000,000 dollars at Texas politics and now HB2/SB1 would mandate upgrades that benefit yet another industry the Perrys have ties to.

 

Did they explain why you were forcibly removed?

There was no explanation. Senator Jane Nelson tried to say I was being disrespectful but how would she know? I barely got to give the complete performance review of every member on the committee. Pointing out that Sen. Donna Campbell is an ophthalmologist is not disrespectful when she asserts in a state hearing that she should be THE expert on reproductive health. What was disrespectful was the parade of anti-choice zealots and misogynists who got up for 13 hours and called women murderers, killers, promiscuous, thoughtless, and selfish. Not a peep from committee chair Nelson on those.

 

Are you going to pursue legal action for the First Amendment violation involved in removing you and stopping you from petitioning your government for redress?

I haven’t decided yet, I am currently talking with people in Austin about that possibility.

 

What has your reception been like after speaking in your community?

The first reaction was a true shock. And that was the hundreds of people who applauded me as I was escorted out of Capitol and who stayed with me so police couldn’t isolate me. You can see some of it here. Parade as girl is escorted out of testimonyNext, I came home to hundreds of new followers on social media. And finally, the texts, tweets, emails, and phone calls haven’t stopped from friends and family alike. Texans are as angry as I sounded. We don’t benefit at all from the polite oppression of Texas legislature “decorum”. Dissent and rebellion continue to drive this fight.

 

Would you like to share the process of getting to the microphone to speak?

I drove from Central Texas at 5:30 am and testified at little after 11pm.  It was a long day but I and many others have been used to it since our first citizen’s filibuster on June 20th. Hours of watching antichoicers insult and talk to women, watching awful pseudoscience continued to enrage me. Finally, after I saw a woman named Vanessa (@lochnessa) testify angrily about the heartbreaking medically necessary abortion she had to have after countless IVF attempts, I knew I had to rewrite. Their baby had rare form of spina bifida and a 20 week ban would have hurt them. After she spoke an antichoice next to her cruelly said “I know people who adopted two children with spina bifida”. Not a word from the chair. I scrapped my speech and began a rewrite that would call out each member of committee for their lack of expertise or past bad record on women’s health. Took about 5 more hours until I was finally called along with the rest of Group 6.

 

Are you intending to run for office in the future?

I have worked on 2 gubernatorial campaigns and one presidential campaign. I haven’t really liked what I’ve seen of the candidate life but if any group of people felt I could help, I’d consider it.

 

Thank you The Daily KOS.

 

 

Back in Texas, it seems that the conservative forces have the upper hand, at least for now. Yesterday, the Texas State House formally passed the Bill by 96 votes to 49. The Texas State Senate is expected to vote on the companion Bill as early as Monday.

Back in Texas, it seems that the conservative forces have the upper hand, at least for now. Yesterday, the Texas State House formally passed the Bill by 96 votes to 49. The Texas State Senate is expected to vote on the companion Bill as early as Monday.

 

Hope Phillips, an opponent of HB 2, an abortion bill, yells with others outside the Texas House. Source: AP

Hope Phillips, an opponent of HB 2, an abortion bill, yells with others outside the Texas House. Source: AP

 

993002_10151665843716738_1072735049_n

 

abortion_nica132157_430823c

 

Phil-Perkins

 

A mother and her two daughters hold signs at an abortion rights march in Austin

 

Tasca-Shadix

 

Ted-Krause

 

BMHFnz_CcAAwAum

 

 

blogger4peacelogo

 

smallobamaflag21 (1)

 

 

2 Responses

  1. Stand fast, Texas sister, you will win!

Reply At Your Own Risk. Leave The Dumbfuckery At The Door.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 259,752 other followers

%d bloggers like this: