A woman was ejected from the Texas state Senate chamber in Austin after giving fiery testimony against the abortion bill, calling lawmakers a bunch of frauds.
“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,” Sarah Slamen said at the beginning of her testimony Monday. “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 health care system – ‘cause I’m going to a state that doesn’t kill its own inmates, that’s how pro-life it is up there.”
Slamen launched into her attack against lawmakers by “thanking” them 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 us 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 broodmares 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..”
Before she could finish her one-by-one take down of members of the Senate committee, Slamen was forcibly escorted from the chamber.
Republican State Sen. Jane Nelson released a statement following the incident, defending the removal of Slamen: “As chair, I have never allowed personal attacks on senators of either party at our hearings. After being asked three times to cease, a witness was removed for personally attacking specific senators after delivering her prepared comments… We heard passionate yet respectful testimony from 356 people and the breach of decorum by one individual should not overshadow the courtesy displayed by everyone else.”
Outside the committee chamber, Slamen was greeted by dozens of sympathizers cheering and applauding her testimony.
“After 12 hours of hearing not only bad expert witnesses from the authors of the bill, but anti-choice testimony after anti-choice testimony, insulting women, calling us murderers, killers, insinuating that we’re promiscuous…I hit my breaking point,” Slamen told msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell. “I’m privileged as a white woman from a middle class background to be able to attend all of those hearings. Women with two and three jobs, the 20% of women who live in rural areas, they can’t get to the hearings and stand up for their rights. And it is obvious that all the Republicans on the committee don’t care about the rights of their health care either, so somebody had to say something.”
The Texas bill–SB1/HB2–which limits where and when women can get an abortion in the state, passed the state House on Tuesday, and is expected to be voted on by the Senate early next week.
Updated July 11 at 1:40pm ET