Friday, July 12, 2013

Sarah Slamen Testimony on the Abortion Restrictions in Texas SB1

The Texas legislature is about to pass some of the most restrictive abortion laws as part of House Bill 2 (HB-2) which has become Senate Bill 1 (SB-1). If passed, SB-1 would criminalize abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and shut down most abortion clinics in the state. On July 12 a young woman named Sarah Slamen signed up to testify during the public debate of SB-1 and I wanted to include the video and a transcript of her testimony on my blog as an example of how Texas women are fighting against this bill and how the Texas legislature treats constituents when they challenge their elected leaders.

Senator Jane Nelson: Sarah Slamen.

Sarah Slamen: Thank you, Chair Committee, my name is Sarah Slamen. I am a constituent of Senator Whitmire. I’m here to testify against SB1 because I’m tired of Republican primary politics, misogyny and greed dominating the state I was born, raised and schooled in. And you know, I had some really eloquent remarks written out but you guys have just worn me down all day. With all this terrible science and glad-handing and to be frank I get to move to New York next month. So I don’t have to live in fear of you Texas legislators anymore and what you’re going to do to my education system, or my healthcare system, ‘cause I’m going to a state that doesn’t kill its own inmates. That’s how pro-life it is, up there. I will thank you, though, first. It was destiny that you would discriminate against us and try to force your way inside the bodies of Texas women. Thank you for finally working against women so publicly, and not in the shadows like you’re used to. Thank you for every single bad press conference with your bad information. Thank you for every hateful statement degrading women and girls to sex objects and brood mares and bald eagles and leather wallets like your eloquent pro-life supporters have done today. 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.

Let’s start down the line: Senator Campbell you’re an ophthalmologist so I won’t be making you the expert on reproductive health. We can give you all the children with chlamydia and herpes in their eyes, since we don’t have Sex Ed in this state. And Senator Hegar, you are about as helpful ...

Senator Jane Nelson: [hammers gavel and speaks over Slamen] I will not allow ...

Sarah Slamen: ... Excuse me. This is my government ma'am. I will judge you!

Senator Nelson: [unintelligible - apparently chastising and trying to speak over Slamen]

Sarah Slamen: ... I will judge you ma’am! Is this counting against my time?

Senator Nelson: Yes, it is.

Sarah Slamen: ... the senator talking against me?

Senator Nelson: Yes it is.

Sarah Slamen: OK, well I will just go ahead and talk over her ...

Senator Nelson I will not allow you to disrespect ... [unintelligible trying to speak over Slamen]

Sarah Slamen: This is how big of a fraud I knew you are for being so proud of these proceedings all night. It’s a low bar that you hold yourself to that you simply allowed us to speak.
[State Trooper steps towards Slamen]
... and I will speak against an ophthalmologist who says ...
[Another State Trooper steps forward and the two troopers begin dragging her away from the microphone]
... Everyone on the internet can see what you’re doing right now. This is a farce! The Texas legislature is a bunch of liars who hate women. These men are paid off ...
[A third State Trooper helps drag Slamen away from the microphone]

Senator Jane Nelson: Our next witness is Gary Oldham.

Sarah Slamen: [Shouting louder and leaning forward so she can be heard while being dragged away from the microphone] ... so they can tell us what to do with the inside of our bodies ...

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