According to Jessica Luther, a freelance writer and pro-choice activist who has been coordinating much of the push-back to the proposed abortion restrictions over the past few weeks, Senate officials are confiscating any objects they believe may cause a similar disruption in the gallery during Friday’s vote. Protesters aren’t allowed to carry water bottles or even feminine hygiene products, just in case they might throw them at lawmakers:
I just asked DPS myself: NO TAMPONS OR MAXI PADS IN GALLERY. "Nothing that can be thrown at Senators" #HB2
— Jessica W. Luther (@scATX) July 12, 2013
Even though the Texas legislature may not be comfortable with feminine hygiene products, it’s a bit more relaxed when it comes to firearms. Individuals with concealed carry licenses are permitted to bring their guns into the Senate gallery. In fact, a Texas Republican recently insinuated he might do just that during the current special session.
In a recent interview with the National Review Online, state Rep. Jonathan Strickland (R) expressed concern over becoming the target of violence as thousands of angry pro-choice activists rally at the capitol. When asked whether those concerns would inspire him to carry a hidden gun this session, he said he couldn’t legally answer that question. But he did add, “I very, very often do concealed-carry, I can say that.”
Since activists aren’t allowed to carry tampons or pads on their person, they have asked supporters to send feminine products to the capitol building so they can stock the bathrooms for the women who may need them.
Early in the morning on Saturday, The Texas Senate voted 19 to 11 to approve the anti-abortion bill. The legislation now heads to Gov. Rick Perry (R), who will sign it into law.