Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) said Sunday that opponents of Texas' tough new anti-abortion measures are welcome to stage another filibuster in the state Senate, but decried what he called "mob rule" by crowds in the gallery after state Sen. Wendy Davis prevented the bill's passage with an 11-hour filibuster during a special legislative session two weeks ago.
Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Perry said that "never in the history of Texas have they seen that kind of a mob rule," referring to protesters in the area overlooking the Senate floor, whose cries prevented votes from being counted for the bill until after the end of the special session. The legislation would have banned abortions in Texas after 20 weeks of pregnancy and shut down most abortion clinics in the state.
"Rules were followed on the Senate floor; it was the decorum of the Senate floor that was put in a bad light," Perry said on the show. The governor also suggested that future visitors to the Senate gallery who "disrupt the democratic process" may be escorted out of the chamber.
Perry is not the only Texas Republican who has hurled insults at the crowds in the gallery. Republican Sen. Bill Zedler tweeted on June 26, "We had terrorist [sic] in the Texas State Senate opposing SB 5."
Speaking Sunday, Perry also addressed inflammatory comments he made last week about Davis' own history as a teen mother. In the wake of Davis' filibuster, Perry gave a speech saying it was "unfortunate" that Davis "hasn’t learned from her own example."
"Those comments were meant to be a compliment to her," Perry said on Sunday.
While Perry expressed confidence that the Texas abortion bill will pass during a special session he's called, he hedged on whether he would support a 20-week abortion ban nationally.
Asked about a hypothetical national bill, Perry said, "I'm a big believer that the states are where these issues are best handled."