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Abortion Rights Event At The State Capitol Draws Small Crowd

Trey Martinez Fischer

A rally that started at the capitol in Austin yesterday only drew a small number of people compared other abortion rights events around the state.

About 300 abortion rights supporters gathered at the capitol to speak out against last week’s passage of a strict abortion bill during a national day of action.  Demonstrators huddled under umbrellas and rain gear intently listened to keynote speaker Jim Hightower, the former agriculture commissioner, who had a few choice words for Gov. Rick Perry and other Republicans at the state capitol.

"They’ve forgotten an old saying that I grew up with that is, 'If mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy,' and mama ain't happy," Hightower said.

He said this new Democratic movement is not about reclaiming Texas.

"Your rebellion here today is just a beginning of a revitalized peoples movement, a movement that won’t be stopped," he said. "The Tea Party Republicans a couple years ago said they wanted to take Texas back, well they have -- back about 150 years. We don’t want to take Texas back, we want to move Texas forward.

"It’s a historic fight for justice for women’s rights. We are now all Wendys in Texas, and it’s up to us to carry that spirit on. You’ve got Dewhurst and the gang spooked just by showing up, just by standing up, just by speaking up. Old Dan Patrick says he's protecting Texans freedom and liberty by taking away your freedom and liberty," Hightower said.

Following those words, the group marched through downtown Austin and back to the capitol ground  chanting: "When women’s rights are under attack, stand up fight back."

This Monday's rally was part of a national day of action with similar sized crowds in major cities all across Texas and the rest of the U.S.