Planned Parenthood Forced to Cancel Texas Bus Tour Stop, Lack of Enthusiasm

State   |   Jill Stanek   |   Jul 12, 2013   |   12:30PM   |   Austin, TX

So today’s the big day, the culmination of recent pro-life efforts in Texas to ban abortions after 20 weeks and enact stricter abortion industry regulations. From the Associated Press:1069210_142490549283765_1461451263_n (1)

The Texas Senate was poised to cast a final vote on tough new abortion restrictions after a committee approved the measure Thursday, and top Republicans and Democrats acknowledged there is little to stop it from becoming law this time.

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst scheduled the vote for Friday afternoon…. It could be Saturday morning before senators actually cast their votes if debate lingers through the night….

“We do not have the numbers to stop it,” said Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas. “As soon as it’s signed by the governor, it will be challenged … we believe the whole bill is unconstitutional.”

The Department of Public Safety has more than doubled security at the Capitol and Republican leaders have said they will clear the gallery if anyone tries to disrupt the Senate again….

Meanwhile, the “road rage” bus tour kicked off by angry Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards four days ago is ending tonight with a whimper. Organizers have cancelled the last stop


In other news, an enlightening July 10 article at The American Prospect sheds light on how the orange shirted mob came to be.

While abortion proponents may claim Gov. Rick Perry’s call for a special session was a “sneak attack,” they knew it was coming – months in advance, and planned the “seemingly spontaneous” crowd.

It also appears the other side had to hire “free agent activists” on social media to stir the lackluster pro-abortion pot. (I’ve been trying to pinpoint whether these are actually paid mercenaries and can’t ascertain it. But the term “free agent” sure makes it sound like it. UPDATE: One of the “free agents” mentioned in this piece tells me she’s not being paid.):

Months before the special session of the Texas legislature was called, the main organizers of the pro-choice protests had already decided that their t-shirts were going to be orange.

By the end of the special session of the Texas State Senate on June 25th, a sea of orange t-shirted pro-choice supporters in the capital’s rotunda were capping off Wendy Davis’ filibuster with 15 minutes of raucous cheering….

Grassroots organizations playing in the same sandbox often behave like rivalrous siblings clamoring for the same donors and public recognition for their efforts. But for the first time in recent memory, according to several activists I spoke with, the local pro-choice groups in Austin played nicely with one another. Their guess is that the threat to access to reproductive health was great enough to put aside their usual differences.

Even with the advanced planning, there weren’t enough orange-shirted protesters to make a difference when the special legislative session began in late May of this year. The protester’s efforts were listless. Something was missing. Every energetic protest effort needs a spark…. The Texas House Committee on Public Affairs’ decision to cut off public testimony with over 700 people in attendance at 4 am on June 21st was the needed catalyst….

But the reach of traditional organizations online tends to be limited to their current supporters. The protest needed more than the unusual suspects to grow significantly. And that’s where the secret ingredient came in: free agent activistsFree agents are individual activists who are savvy using social media and able to accelerate the spread of social protests and movements very quickly. Every successful protest movement over the past five years, from Wall Street to Cairo to Brazil, has had free agents stirring the social media waters and turning local events into national and international conversations.

The final piece of the mosaic was Senator Wendy Davis. She fit the role perfectly with her pink running shoes, compelling personal story and incredible endurance….



It is difficult to sustain the level of energy and enthusiasm the filibuster created. The job of organizations is to fill the quieter times with more field building and relationship building online in order to turn once again into a well-organized crowd seemingly spontaneously again.

cecile02 Note: Jill Stanek fought to stop “live birth abortions” after witnessing one as an RN at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois. That led to the Born Alive Infants Protection Act legislation, signed by President Bush, that would ensure that proper medical care be given to unborn children who survive botched abortion attempts.