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July 1, 2013 / Press Releases

Transcript of Speech by Ilyse Hogue at “Stand With Texas Women” Rally, Austin, TX, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

[email protected]

Transcript may deviate slightly from remarks as delivered.

Well. Now y’all are just about the best looking “unruly mob” that I’ve ever seen.

24 hours ago, I was on my honeymoon in Turkey. But even over there, I heard that there was something special going down in Austin.

And I knew I had to be back here, back home, standing with my family of Texas women (and some pretty great Texas men too).

Some people might think it’s funny that after months of battles and dozens of laws rolling back women’s rights in 17 states that this line in the sand, this filibuster heard round the world comes from Texas.

But those people don’t know us. They don’t know what we’re made of: that particular combination of courage and convictions…music and mettle…that makes the Lone Star State burn bright for women in this moment when our country needs examples of heroes in action.

But what’s at stake is our soul: the spirit of independence and respect for individuality that makes us great!

Because while this cabal of out of touch legislators plot to roll back reproductive rights, the message they are sending is even more sinister. They say: ‘we don’t trust you.’ They say: ‘we know better than you.’ And they say: ‘we’ll force our will on you.’

And I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything more counter to the spirit of this great state than that:

Trust me. Trust us. Trust our families to live our lives independently, in freedom, without your intrusion.

Gov. Rick Perry – known for being numerically challenged – has now shown that he’s also vocabulary-challenged.

Trying to cover for his massive underestimation of the will of Texas women, he claimed that Wendy Davis’ historic filibuster was a “hijacking of the democratic process.”

But we know what democracy is. Democracy is 200,000 people watching a live stream of a floor debate after cable news has cut away. Democracy is 547,000 tweets with the hashtag “Stand with Wendy” in a 12-hour period. And democracy is thousands of voices rising in a spontaneous chorus to prevent a vote and alter the course of history.

They say we can’t win. They say that Rick Perry can call as many special sessions as he wants. They say that he controls the process so they can alter the rules like they did to silence Wendy’s filibuster.

But we’ve got news for “them!”

Changing the rules doesn’t change the truth. And when you silence one of us, you give voice to the millions who will continue to demand our lives, our choices, our independence.

It’s them who can’t win, because we’ll keep raising our hands and raising our voices for freedom.

Raise your hands!!!
Raise your voices!!!
For freedom!!!

NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all Americans. NARAL works to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”


Everyone should be able to decide if, when, how, and with whom they start or grow a family.

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