It's Saturday morning here in Austin. I know you're busy and happy with your lives, and that makes ME happy. I'm a little tired, but it was important to stand up last night.
I went down to the Texas State Capitol with thousands of other people to protest House Bill 2 which will make it extremely difficult for a woman to get an abortion in Texas.
We filed in through the security gates, past a lot of big state troopers who lined the halls and the circumference of the rotunda. I stood in the rotunda outside the main gallery along with all kinds of people, a lot of women wearing orange. I did not get that memo. Most of us stood in the middle of the rotunda while the folks on the edge were required to keep walking so as not to block access to the exits. A lot of others had made it up to balconies that looked down on at us on the floor. They fed us news from the chamber. Picture a roll-on deodorant filled with bodies.
Stuffed in there for close to four hours, we were chanting, clapping, and making an enormous racket while the legislature proceeded with their nasty business. My throat clenched from hollering, and my ears rang because of the thunderous echo reverberating under the dome. When you get that many women putting out that much energy in a tight space, it gets hot and smells ripe. That's how we get when you get us riled up. State troopers circled us and made arrests in the chambers. On the cool walls above the s were portraits of old white guys, former governors of the state (just for the record, Ann Richards was among them wearing bright blue). My heart banged when I looked at those complacent portraits.
Despite the clamor, the bill passed and will be sent to the current governor, Rick Perry, who will sign it into law. The constitutionality will be challenged in court. The fight will go on. It must.
You know I am apolitical and have only a couple issues that make me so hopping mad that I will go ballistic, rant, and make a scene when they come up. What makes your Mom angry? Bullying. Bullying behavior is what these guys here in Texas are doing. Their disingenuous tactics mark them as cowards, which is what all bullies are underneath. I will not tolerate it. When your mother gets angry, it's time to listen. As you know, I save it for rare occasions, and when it happens, I will not be shut down or up.
I want you to know that you were both choices. You are the best choices I have made in my entire life. Your father and I chose you, nurtured you and have put everything we have into raising you. Nobody else, no church, no government was involved in choosing whether to have you. I have never harbored resentments or regrets for your births or the magnificent years of tending to you. I happily accept full responsibility for your care. You are mine, my children.
Every woman should make her own choice based on her own beliefs, about giving life to such joy and such responsibility. Nobody should be bullied into motherhood.
That's why I stood in the Texas State Capitol last night. I'm a mother by choice, and I'm one tough mother when I have to be. Don't mess with me or my children, Texas.