When legislators return to Austin next week, some East Texans will be accompanying them. Local residents who support House Bill 2, the controversial abortion legislation, will leave for Austin on Monday and Tuesday.
Their goal is to show lawmakers that they stand behind their pro-life representatives.
The nation's eyes were on the Texas legislature last week as a filibuster halted a vote on legislation that would put more strict rules in place for getting an abortion. The bill also outlaws abortions 5 months into pregnancy.
"That's why I'm going to Austin. That's why my children are going to Austin and we're really trying to organize this is to show that we all stand together, not only for the right of the pre-born, but for the right of women as well, so we are not having women dying because of substandard care," says Tyler mother Suzanne Laine.
Lain is part of a group of East Texans organizing a trip to head down to the capitol on Tuesday. For her, this bill is about respect.
"Without a respect for life from the very very beginning, in my opinion, we will never respect each other enough to really take care of each other," she says.
Representative Matt Schaefer and his wife Jasilyn will be in Austin on Monday for a pro-life rally with Governor Huckabee.
"There's a very strong motivation to let the pro-life voice be heard this time and not just let the other side dominate the conversation," says Schaefer.
"We stand for life and it's going to be exciting to stand shoulder to shoulder with fellow East Texans and let our voices be heard," says Schaefer's wife, Jasilyn.
Schaefer says he respects that people have opposing views, but he wants to keep the conversation going.
"A[n unborn] baby at 5 months deserves to have the protection of the state because we know now, medically, that that child feels pain," he says.
East Texas pastor Dan Cummins will make the trek to Austin, too.
"Why is it important? Because we want the blessings of God to remain upon our city and our businesses and our schools. The way you do that is to honor what God honors and God honors the unborn. David said, 'When I was still in my mother's womb, God knew all of my parts,'" Cummins says.
They'll all be making separate trips, but for the same purpose, and they encourage East Texans to join them and let their voices be heard.
If you're going to the capitol next week, pro-life supporters there will be wearing blue. There are two separate pro-life events East Texans are taking part in. One is a rally on Monday evening organized in-part with representative Schaefer's office. The other is a bus trip leaving Tuesday morning. That trip is organized by local churches and is free of charge.
Information about the trips:
The group will gather at the state capitol prior to a 7 p.m. pro-life rally on the south steps of the capitol.
Local residents are invited to meet beforehand in the office of State Rep. Matt Schaefer, Capitol Extension office E1.406. Signs in support of life will be available to use at the rally, and belongings may also be stored in Schaefer's office during the rally.
The rally will feature former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, along with several pro-life leaders from around Texas. More information about the rally can be found at www.texasvalues.org.
Buses depart at 7 a.m. for a trip to Austin that includes lunch a visit to the capitol and the opportunity to sign up and speak in support of H.B. 2.
The buses will return Tuesday evening. The trip is sponsored by local churches and is free of charge.
To sign up, email: email@example.com
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