Feel free to ignore any questions you would not care to respond to no explanation needed. Also feel free to add anything you would like to say that I don't cover or ask about.
First off, what was your prepared statement?
I'd prepared a statement outlining Milla Perry Jones, sister of Governor Rick Perry's involvement as head lobbyist for allied surgical centers and doctor-owned hospitals. As the Texas Observer explained its Dec 2012 "Sister Act" article, doctor owned facilities are notorious for driving up costs because of financial incentive to overcharge for tests, procedures, services. They've thrown over $4,000,000 dollars at Texas politics and now HB2/SB1 would mandate upgrades that benefit yet another industry the Perrys have ties to.
Did they explain why you were forcibly removed?
There was no explanation. Senator Jane Nelson tried to say I was being disrespectful but how would she know? I barely got to give the complete performance review of every member on the committee. Pointing out that Sen. Donna Campbell is an ophthalmologist is not disrespectful when she asserts in a state hearing that she should be THE expert on reproductive health. What was disrespectful was the parade of anti-choice zealots and misogynists who got up for 13 hours and called women murderers, killers, promiscuous, thoughtless, and selfish. Not a peep from committee chair Nelson on those.
Are you going to pursue legal action for the First Amendment violation involved in removing you and stopping you from petitioning your government for redress?
I haven't decided yet, I am currently talking with people in Austin about that possibility.
What has your reception been like after speaking in your community?
The first reaction was a true shock. And that was the hundreds of people who applauded me as I was escorted out of Capitol and who stayed with me so police couldn't isolate me. You can see some of it here. Parade as girl is escorted out of testimony Next, I came home to hundreds of new followers on social media. And finally, the texts, tweets, emails, and phone calls haven't stopped from friends and family alike. Texans are as angry as I sounded. We don't benefit at all from the polite oppression of Texas legislature "decorum". Dissent and rebellion continue to drive this fight.
Would you like to share the process of getting to the microphone to speak?
I drove from Central Texas at 5:30 am and testified at little after 11pm. It was a long day but I and many others have been used to it since our first citizen's filibuster on June 20th. Hours of watching antichoicers insult and talk to women, watching awful pseudoscience continued to enrage me. Finally, after I saw a woman named Vanessa (@lochnessa) testify angrily about the heartbreaking medically necessary abortion she had to have after countless IVF attempts, I knew I had to rewrite. Their baby had rare form of spina bifida and a 20 week ban would have hurt them. After she spoke an antichoice next to her cruelly said "I know people who adopted two children with spina bifida". Not a word from the chair. I scrapped my speech and began a rewrite that would call out each member of committee for their lack of expertise or past bad record on women's health. Took about 5 more hours until I was finally called along with the rest of Group 6.
Are you intending to run for office in the future?
I have worked on 2 gubernatorial campaigns and one presidential campaign. I haven't really liked what I've seen of the candidate life but if any group of people felt I could help, I'd consider it.
Addendum, a letter from medical professionals to the politicians interfering in their profession.
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