July 15, 2013 ( – After weeks of heated debate, Texas’ late-term abortion ban easily passed the Senate on Friday, sparking protests by the crowds of deflated orange-shirted pro-abortion activists who had filled the halls of the Capitol in recent days. 

Emotions ran high in the minutes before and after the vote, with reports of threats of violence and rioting by abortion activists. Twelve pro-abortion protesters were arrested, two of whom were taken to hospital with injuries. Most of those arrested had attempted to disturb the debate from the Senate gallery. Several of them had tried to handcuff themselves to the gallery railing.


One protester – 30-year-old Yatzel Sabel – was arrested for participating in a sit-down protest outside the Senate Chamber and was charged with obstructing a passageway and resisting arrest. 

A police affidavit said that when police attempted to arrest Sabel she “proceeded to kick in an attempt to refuse detention.” Sabel was also arrested earlier in the week for disrupting proceedings in the House. 

A photo of another bloodied protester, identified as Joshua Pineda, being held on the ground by police quickly made the rounds amongst pro-abortion activists on social media sites.  

As of Saturday afternoon, five of those arrested had been released, with the remaining still waiting to be processed.

For many pro-life activists in Texas the day began with an ominous Facebook post by former Planned Parenthood clinic manager turned pro-life leader Abby Johnson. Johnson said that she had been contacted by workers at local abortion clinics who were “legitimately concerned” about how the day’s events were shaping up. 

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“Both Planned Parenthood and NARAL are no longer encouraging their supporters to be civil and courteous,” said Johnson. “These workers are telling me that many are planning on getting arrested and being aggressive with prolifers (including physical contact because they don't think we will press charges).”  

Throughout the day rumors swirled that pro-abortion activists were planning on disrupting the Senate debate by throwing used tampons and other objects at pro-life legislators. 

Later in the day officials with the Department of Public Safety confirmed that during bag inspections they had “discovered one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint.” In addition, they said they found “significant quantities” of female hygiene products as well as “glitter and confetti.” 

Another report said officials also discovered bricks. 

As the debate in the Senate progressed towards the final vote, officials warned pro-life activists to leave the Capitol over fears for their safety. 

In at least one case a young pro-life activist with Students for Life of America was allegedly shoved by abortion supporters as he was trying to film events. 

Many pro-life activists who were unable to flee the Capitol took shelter in the offices of pro-life legislators where they waited for the crowds to disperse. 

The debate over the late-term abortion ban was characterized by aggressive tactics that even took veteran activists by surprise. This famously included a mob of abortion activists causing the first version of the bill to fail by shouting and delaying the vote past the midnight deadline and, on a later occasion, yelling “Hail Satan!” to drown out pro-life activists who were singing Amazing Grace. 

Young girls were also seen carrying signs bearing images of coathangers and messages such as “If I Wanted a Lawmaker in My Uterus, I’d F*ck a Senator,” and “Jesus isn’t a d***: so keep him out of my vagina.” Another protestor bore a sign saying, “No rape babies.”

A spokesman for Senator Donna Campbell, MD, (R-New Braunfels) said that the legislator received threats such as,  “I hope you’re raped” and “I hope your daughter is raped!”

After the “Hail Satan” episode Johnson told that while she had felt remorse for her past involvement in the abortion movement, the unurly nature of the protests at the Texas Capitol had made her feel “embarrassed” for the first time. 

“Standing there … I just felt embarrassed,” she said. “I felt embarrassed for myself for ever being a part of that. I felt embarrassed for them and their behavior.”


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