It was a beautiful, sunny day yesterday in Montgomery as pro-choice supporters descended on the Statehouse to rally and lobby against HB57 - the TRAP bill specifically designed to close women's clinics in Alabama.
The group cheered speakers that included Alabama legislators, Planned Parenthood officials, ADP Chair Mark Kennedy, and some awesome young women who help organize pro-choice women on their college campuses.
We also had a cadre of hecklers who seemed to think that shouting epithets at speakers and passers-by is the way to "bring people to the Lord." They were ready when Staci Fox from Planned Parenthood Southeast began speaking. As you can see from the video, she barely got out a sentence before they started up - and were quickly shut down by State Troopers who explained that anyone could stand and watch the rally, but couldn't disrupt it. We were standing right next to them and the Troopers showed admirable restraint as the hecklers argued with them.
Senator Linda Coleman deserves a particular shout-out. She was also nearby and reminded the hecklers: "You were here a few weeks ago and everyone treated your rally with respect. You need to be quiet now."
Remember, that was the rally that featured the guys strutting around in feathered hats and capes, looking like Ru Paul rejects. Funny how they're so concerned with abortion, but haven't felt the need to take to the streets over Medicaid funding, education, or any other issue that affects the lives of children in this state.
Thanks as well to Hank Sanders, Rodger Smitherman, and Priscilla Dunn for their speeches and support. And special thanks to every woman in the Senate: their opposition to this bill was strong and unanimous. In fact, every Senate Democrat but one - Roger Bedford - voted NO. Bedford voted "pass" which means "I'm here in the chamber, but don't want to take a stand."
As you probably know already, the bill passed and is on its way to Governor Bentley. From there, it goes to the courts and more precious, limited state money will be frittered away.
Has anyone else noticed that the GOP jobs program seems to be limited to paying attorneys to defend their bad legislation?
A highlight reel video of the rally is on the flip!