Protestors Confront State Representative at Opening of New District Office

One state representative is accused of going back on his campaign promises by voting for a bill that would dramatically restrict abortions in Texas.

Protestors confronted representative Abel Herrero Thursday as he was dedicating his new district office in the downtown area.

3 News reporter Brian Burns took a closer look with the fallout from the first special session of the Texas legislature.

About a dozen women protested in front of Herrero's office complaining he was letting them down on Senate Bill 5.

Diana Stillman, protestor, says, "And for somebody who doesn't know me, doesn't know my circumstance, who will never live with me, who will never have to think about my child's health care, our emotional and mental well being, it's not right for men, it's not right for people who don't know us and who are not willing to invest in us as people to make these kind of choices for us."

The feelings of one woman protesting the vote of the 34th District State Representative in the raucous ending to the first special legislative session.

Herrero, a democrat, sided with republicans in the bill, which would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy and force many clinics that perform the procedure to upgrade their facilities and be classified as ambulatory surgical centers. The law's provision that abortions be performed at surgical centers means only five of Texas' 42 abortion clinics are currently designated to remain in operation.

Lisa Hernandez, protestor, says, "Abel Herrero made a commitment to me that he would not join the republican war against women. And that's exactly what he did."

The protestors believe Herrero went back on his promise to support women's rights and one compared the state's republicans to a terrorist group.

Isabel Araiza, protestor, says, "It's important not to enable the Texas Taliban to come down hard on women in this, in this state."

3 News asked Herrero if there was any reason to believe that he would change his vote when the bill came up again.

Rep. Abel Herrero, District 34, says, "I'm pro life. And I've let everybody know that. But that doesn't mean that I am not going to listen to people's concerns and opinions."

He was also questioned by the protestors.

"What I'm saying is I don't know how I'm going to vote.would you let us know before then at least? Because Abel truthfully, if you can't support us, than we can't support you. It's that simple. And I respect that," says Herrero.

Despite the bill's failure, Herrero says the intent of the bill's sponsors was clear.

"Seeing it unfold you could tell the intent was to stop discussion at all costs," says Herrero.

Herrero says even though the session begins Monday, legislative procedure would likely delay a reintroduction of the bill until the latter half of the upcoming 30 day session.


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