EDITS: Couple of corrections made, rallies added, more images to grab, updated info on shirts, added some folks to donate to, added the Texas Tribune’s amazing new interactive map of the Capitol, added a link to the amazing activities at the Capitol after the rally, and added the fantastic lineup of speakers for the rally!
This is kind of a frustrating time. Waiting is tough. There are some things we can do right now. The top few things anyone can do. The next section is for Texas folks – you’ll find info on upcoming rallies, nonviolent protest training, where to get orange shirts, images to use as your Facebook or Twitter profile pics, and more! The last section is for folks outside of Texas. If you have a question not answered here, see Jessica Luther’s big post about what’s next in this fight and Virginia’s post with lots of resource links. Thanks for all that y’all are doing!
Rest up and take care of yourself! This second special session may last a month just like the first special session, so please take advantage of this brief lull to recharge your batteries.
EDITED: Take action for Ohio! Y’all, Ohio’s new anti-abortion budget provisions are AWFUL. And a lot of them look really familiar! We here in Texas know what it’s like to have Planned Parenthood defunded and public money going to fake clinics. So let’s show some solidarity! You can contact Gov. John Kasich and let him know you’re disappointed that he used his veto 22 times in the Ohio budget but left all the anti-abortion provisions in place. Call him at 614-466-3555. Tweet him at @JohnKasich using hashtags #veto4women and #StandWithOhio. Email him using this webform. The Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice has a sample letter with great talking points.
Get informed about what’s coming up in the second special session.
- Like a zombie, SB5 has risen from the dead. Though the text is not yet available online, word is that Rep. Laubenberg has filed the bill exactly as it was in the first special session. The new bill number is HB2. This bill analysis breaks down why each provision is bad.
- Standalone bill limiting medical abortions. Sen. Dan Patrick has filed a separate bill, SB9, that would prevent anyone but a physician from prescribing the abortion pill. The text of this one is available online. It’s a carbon copy of the abortion pill provision of SB5.
- All that befuddling rules stuff. Check out this piece from KUT on the expected rules fight. The short version: if the Senate proceeds with its normal rules, it takes a 2/3 vote to get any bill to the floor. This means the Democrats have (in theory, looking at you, Sen. Lucio) enough votes to stop any bill from getting an up-or-down vote. The normal rules were NOT in place during the first special session. The question is whether they will be during this second special session. If you want more details on the history and process of special sessions, Alexis J. Kostun has you covered (hat tip to Jessica Luther for the link).
- Why this is about reproductive justice. For context, see this amazing piece on how our situation in Texas shows that abortion technically remaining legal is meaningless unless it is also accessible.
Help us hold them accountable. Sign the WhiteHouse.gov petition asking for investigation into the procedural shenanigans that went on Tuesday night. There’s another petition asking the Attorney General of Texas to investigate as well.
IF YOU ARE IN AUSTIN/TEXAS:
Get some training/info on nonviolent protest. Lt. Gov. Dewhurst has indicated that Capitol security will be a lot tougher in the second special session. So it’s a good idea to brush up on your rights and how to protest peacefully. Rise Up Austin is offering free trainings on Sunday at 5PM; meet up on the south side of the Capitol. Can’t make that? The ACLU of Texas has a great page of info. They offer this special advisory:
The Texas Constitution gives legislators broad authority to remove and/or jail people for even minor breaches of “decorum.” If you do not wish to be removed from legislative proceedings, you should refrain from doing anything that could be construed as disrespectful or disruptive. Conduct that could fall into this category includes: shouting, clapping, or gesturing from public observation areas; physically blocking entrances; engaging in overly argumentative exchanges with legislative staff or other Capitol visitors; and/or otherwise preventing lawmakers from carrying out their business.
Tell your story! Why do you oppose this legislation? Write it on your blog. Share it on Facebook. Tweet it. If you don’t have a blog, send us your story! We’d be glad to post it here.
Protest with us on Monday at high noon! The big official rally is at the Capitol! Of course our legislative all-stars – Reps. Jessica Farrar and Senfronia Thompson and Sens. Leticia Van de Putte and Wendy Davis – will be speaking. Excited to report that expat Texans Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Cecile Richards, head honcho at Planned Parenthood, will join them! And Natalie Maines will be there – and she’s said she’ll sing! It will be hot, y’all, so don’t forget water, sunblock, and a hat. There’s another rally, Kill the Bill Vol. 2, that starts at 10:00AM, too. And if your activism has to wait till you get off work, there is another march and rally that starts at 8PM.
Stick around after the rally for amazing opportunities to take action and get informed. Y’all, our friends in the reproductive justice advocacy community here have worked super hard and put together a full afternoon of follow-up activities at the Capitol. You can learn the basics of the Texas Legislature, hear experts talk about the history of reproductive rights and justice, make a video of the testimony you’d like to give to legislators, write a letter to your legislator, sign the thank-you card to the Representatives and Senators who stood for us, and so much more! And just a couple of blocks away, you can go get deputized to register voters! This is a whole activist training in one afternoon! Jessica Luther has the full schedule and locations for all activities.
If you can’t make it to Monday rallies, join NARAL Pro-Choice Texas at Whole Woman’s Health on Tuesday at 5:30PM! Rallies at WWH locations in Austin, Beaumont, Ft. Worth, Houston, and San Antonio! On Tuesday, July 2, from 5:30 – 7:30PM at WWH clinics all over the state, the #feministarmy will be standing strong for reproductive justice for all Texans.
If you can’t make either event, please join the virtual march on Facebook.
If you don’t have any orange to wear, get some! Here are some ways to do that.
- EDIT: “Come and Take It” uterus shirts are available online. Profits from shirt sales will go to Planned Parenthood, Battleground Texas, and the Texas Democratic Party. All the shirts they have now are already reserved, but they will have stickers and posters available at Monday’s rally. BumperActive.com’s Carrie Collier says that they’ll have more shirts ready to send out on Tuesday. Or if you want to pick up in person at their shop, 8711 Burnet Road, email email@example.com, and tell Kyle. He will refund your shipping charge when you come in.
- You can also get one of these Stand With Texas Women shirts. They’re $10 each, with $6 going back to the makers to cover costs. You can choose whether the remaining $4 will go to Planned Parenthood or Senator Wendy Davis’ campaign, as well as whether you will pick up your shirt at the Capitol rally Monday or need it mailed to you.
- Susan from Bookwoman, the last feminist bookstore in Texas, says she’ll have plenty of burnt orange uterus shirts starting Tuesday. See their Facebook page for an image. Call the store at 512-472-2785 to reserve one.
- If orange isn’t your thing, you can get a StellaTex Come and Take It uterus shirt in white, pink, green, etc. *Note that this vendor has plus sizes going up to 5X!
Change your Facebook and Twitter profile picture to something orange in support of reproductive justice. Facebook has recently changed how to change your profile picture; here’s the updated how-to. Need an image? Designer Lindsay Braun offers these. There’s another page here. Feel free to grab one of our images, too. The left one is designed for Facebook, the right one for Twitter.
Contact your state representative and senator and let them know that you oppose additional restrictions on abortion! Find out who represents you at the Texas Capitol Online. The Texas Tribune keeps a list of legislators’ Twitter handles; be aware that not all of them have Twitter.
You can also visit your legislators here in Austin or at their district offices. Make an appointment to visit; if they won’t see you, you can always protest! Not familiar with the Capitol? The Texas Tribune just put up this interactive map of the Capitol so you can find your reps’ offices as well as key info about them. What a great resource, y’all, thanks!
Fun fact: Special sessions cost Texas more than $27,000 a day. Since our schools, safety net health care providers, and other key state services are starving for funding, surely we could be doing other things with that money.
IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE TEXAS:
Rally in solidarity with us! WORD has a roundup of rallies around the country. So far there are rallies in Chicago, Los Angeles, New Haven, Sacramento, San Francisco! There’s also a rally in Boston. Please let us know if you see others!
Change your Facebook and Twitter profile picture to something orange in support of reproductive justice. See above for free images, or grab one from a friend.
Got friends or family in Texas? Get them involved. Please let them know what’s going on and point them to StandWithTexasWomen.org, which is the big coalition of groups working on this, to get them plugged in.
Give to one of the following groups working for reproductive justice in Texas:
- NARAL Pro-Choice Texas
- Lilith Fund – Our amazing local abortion fund, serving the southern half of Texas, has started doing advocacy, too!
- Texas Equal Access Fund – This abortion fund serves the north half of Texas
- Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas
- Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast
- Planned Parenthood South Texas
- Jane’s Due Process – Amazing lawyers who provide legal representation to pregnant minors in Texas.