In a video that is going viral today, Sarah Slamen gave a Texas State Senate committee a piece of her mind during her testimony against a restrictive anti-abortion bill this week. Slamen voiced her frustration over a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy and close almost all of the state’s abortion clinics. Before she could finish her statement, she was surrounded by state troopers and forcibly removed from the committee chamber.
Whether you agree or disagree on the abortion bill, you may agree that forcibly removing a woman who was speaking her mind at a Texas Senate hearing on the bill could be a violation of her First Amendment right to petition her government for redress
Slamen, a soon-to-be-New-Yorker, told senators:
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 told the DailyKos:
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.
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.