Month: July 2013

Former Texans plant church in Mass., laying foundation through Bible study and outreach

STONEHAM, Mass.—“Over the past year I have observed that many people here have never met someone that genuinely follows Jesus. People need to see what it looks like to love Jesus while at work, raising children and navigating life’s challenges,” said Steve Brown, a church planter in Stoneham, Mass.

Since July 2012, Steve Brown and his wife Merri have been quietly laboring to plant Wellspring Church and share the gospel in the town 10 miles north of downtown Boston.

The work is challenging as the Browns face the prevailing culture of New England. “It is standing for the truth among the very religious and the very liberal and sharing the truth in a loving way and not getting discouraged when people disagree.”

The culture shifted slightly following the Boston Marathon bombing in April, opening new opportunities to engage people. 

“When a tragedy like this occurs it causes everyone to ask those hard questions about good and evil in our world,” Brown said. “This has resulted in many people being open to talk and discuss their viewpoints. It has provided us a great opportunity to share a Christian worldview and what it looks like to have hope in Jesus.”

But even though the bombings have opened some doors to witness, it has also stirred up an intense focus on human strength, unity and perseverance instead of a reliance on God. “You have likely heard the phrase, ‘Boston Strong.’ Our prayer is for people to realize that true healing and strength can only be found in Jesus.”

Sharing the hope of Jesus motivated the Browns to uproot their lives, leaving Grand Prairie to plant Wellspring Church. Through NAMB and the Baptist Convention of New England, Brown serves as a bi-vocational church planter in the traditionally Catholic area. He works a 30-hour job each week and then spends the remainder of his time making connections in the community and developing evangelistic outreach efforts as he works to build a foundation for the church with the hope of beginning services in the spring of 2014.

The foundation is being laid with two Bible studies. One Bible study meets in Brown’s home.

“These are the people immediately around us,” Brown said. “One couple lives on the third floor of our building; another my wife met at the library’s kids’ craft day and another was a contact from one of our first community outreach events.”

A second Bible study includes Brown’s co-workers and meets at a coffee shop down the street from his place of employment.

“As I got to know people at work, I asked God to help me guide our conversations into spiritual matters. After four to five months, I began asking if anyone was interested in meeting for Bible study,” Brown recalled. “The first time we made arrangements to meet, nobody came. In praying about it, I felt the burden to persevere and the second time, two guys showed up.”

In addition to Bible studies, the Browns are busy looking for outreach opportunities in the community. “God blessed us with an opportunity through a relationship with a local pizza shop owner. I met him on one of my trips to Stoneham about four months before we moved. Our family became regulars at his shop and got to know him fairly well.” 

The Browns shared their calling with the shop owner and he offered his business for anything related to the ministry. Out of this, a periodic “Family Night” outreach was born. “All of the families in our home Bible study have participated in at least one of our Family Night events.”

As the foundation building for Wellspring church continues, the Browns welcome help from churches and individuals to further their ministry. As part of the NAMB Send North America initiative, the Browns benefit from giving through the Cooperative Program.

“The CP funds a portion of our family budget, covered ministry expenses for our first Family Night, provides evangelism resources and sponsors family support fellowships within the church planting network,” Brown explained.

Another way to be involved in Brown’s ministry is to sign up to follow his blog at  “The blog is a great tool to make our ministry a part of your Sunday School, small group or family prayer time.”

Volunteers can also move to Stoneham and join the work, Brown said. “I’m not talking about leading a church plant but moving to live, work and worship in a community as part of a church plant.
Consider this, if you have attended a Bible-teaching church and have been committed to a Sunday School class or small group for several years, you have been exposed to more discipleship than most people in areas where church planting is taking place,” Brown said.

Although the work is hard, Brown seems focused and confident.

“It is having the faith to know that out of this culture that is so far removed from God, he will raise up his church. He alone has the power to take people from it, transform their lives and equip them to carry out the work of his kingdom.”

UPDATED: Abortion measure passes Senate, awaits governor”s signature

AUSTIN—The Texas Senate late on Friday passed sweeping abortion restrictions almost entirely along party lines following weeks of protests, lobbying and debate from both sides in the abortion debate.

House Bill 2, identical to its Senate companion bill, awaits the promised signature of Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who called a second special legislative session to deal with the matter after opponents successfully stalled it as time expired in the first special session on June 25.

The bill, passed 19-11 with one Democrat voting for it, is a compilation of legislation proposed in the regular session of the 83rd Legislature that ended in May. It will ban most abortions after 20 weeks “post-fertilization,” require ambulatory care standards for abortion facilities and require abortion doctors to have hospital privileges within 30 miles of their practices.

HB 2 will also require abortion doctors to be present when any abortion-inducing drug, including RU-486, is administered.

Texas becomes the latest state to enact strict abortion regulations, despite efforts by abortion-rights activists to shut down or slow the legislative process. Their large and loud demonstrations at the State Capitol in recent weeks punctuated the debate but their efforts were countered by an influx of pro-life supporters days before the final vote.

“I am proud of our lawmakers and citizens who tirelessly defended our smallest and most vulnerable,” Perry said in a prepared statement.

Critics and many news reports claimed the increased requirements would force the majority of Texas abortion clinics to close, while proponents countered that abortion clinics should be held to the same standards of care as other surgical centers. Numerous media outlets have reported that only six or seven of the 42 Texas abortion clinics meet the standards of ambulatory care.

According to the bill’s text, clinics have until Sept. 1, 2014 to comply with the ambulatory care requirement.

Pro-life senators, including Republican Donna Campbell, an emergency room physician, have said the evidence suggests that babies can feel pain at 20 weeks.

The vote came just before midnight—more than 10 hours into debate and more than two weeks after a 10-plus hour filibuster, procedural stalling and a raucous crowd of protestors at the end of the first special session succeeded in keeping the Republican majority from prevailing with the bill.

Pro-choice senators proposed 20 amendments without success and stated their strong disagreement with the bill in closing arguments. During debate, occasional outbursts from pro-choice activists in the Senate gallery could be heard.

As promised by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who presides over the Senate, the rules of decorum were strictly enforced and violators were quickly escorted from the chamber.

On Friday, Twitter feeds reported Department of Public Safety troopers—called out in force to the Capitol at the outset of protests in late June—checked all purses and bags before allowing spectators into the Senate gallery. Reports of possible disruptions by the bill’s opponents spurred troopers to confiscate tampons and other miscellaneous items. The DPS released a statement that jars of feces, urine and paint were also seized, but pro-choice activists disputed that report, charging the DPS with playing politics under pressure from the GOP-controlled Legislature, the Texas Tribune online newspaper reported.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Ft. Worth, became a pop icon among pro-choice advocates following her 11-hour filibuster against the legislation in the first special session. Since then she has campaigned against the pro-life bill at Planned Parenthood-sponsored rallies. On Friday during debate she praised the protestors who disrupted the earlier proceedings.

Protestors continued their rally against the bill on Saturday, vowing legal challenges.

“There are people in charge here who want this bill to move very quickly so they won’t be delayed in their climb up a political ladder; so they will not be further embarrassed by the noisy, messy, beautiful public outcry that is part and parcel of our beloved democracy,” Davis said in her closing argument against HB 2.

But Sen. Eddie Lucio, D-Brownsville, the lone Democrat to vote for HB 2, called the legislation a victory for the fight against “the war on children.” He admonished his peers on both sides of the aisle for not giving their support to legislation that champions life at all stages.

Both sides invoked God as a source for their guiding principles during debate. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, said she was pro-life and supported Planned Parenthood for the health care services it provides. She said she supported the 20-week ban on abortion but not the other requirements. The other provisions, she and other Democrats argued, restrict access to health care for poor women.

Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, rebuked Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, for implying that anyone opposed to HB 2 lacked faith in God. Whitmire noted the day in 1956 when he was baptized after proclaiming “Jesus as my Lord and savior” at a Baptist Church in Pasadena. He then went on to recount how he helped pay for a co-worker’s trip to New York for an abortion in 1972 when they were still illegal in Texas.

But Lucio, a Catholic, called out his peers.

“If you are a person of faith there is no way to justify abortion by pointing to God,” he said.

Other pro-life senators said science supports their arguments for the 20-week ban and their faith compelled them to treat all life with dignity.

Pro-life and conservative organizations, whose absence from the Capitol had grown increasingly conspicuous in contrast to the pro-choice demonstrations, rallied to the Capitol Monday in a show of support for the legislation. Many stayed through the final passage late Friday.

Kyleen Wright, president of Texans for Life, tweeted, “A good day for Texas. A good day to be Texan. God bless Texas and thank your David Dewhurst.”

In a statement retweeted by state Sen. Glenn Hegar, R-Katy, author of the Senate companion bill, Elizabeth Graham, director of Texas Right to Life stated, “This new law adds a critical protection for a new class of citizens, preborn children.”

The 20-week abortion ban is based on “post-fertilization” age of a pre-born child based on the estimate of a physician, who must then file the information with the state when an abortion is performed, the bill says.

The ban will not apply to abortions deemed “necessary to avert the death or substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman or abortions that are performed on unborn children with severe fetal abnormalities.”

—Additional reporting by TEXAN editor Jerry Pierce 



Texas House passes pro-life bill, now on to Senate

AUSTIN—The Texas House approved its version of a bill on Wednesday that would forbid most abortions beyond 20 weeks, require ambulatory clinic standards for abortion facilities and require abortion doctors to have hospital privileges within 30 miles of their practices.

House Bill 2 now goes to the Texas Senate, which could vote on the Senate version, SB 1, as early as Friday. House Republicans, who have largely championed the bill, staved off attempts to amend it.

Time ran out during the first special called session of the legislature on June 25 following a 10-hour Democrat-led filibuster and then procedural questions from opponents that aimed to derail a vote as well as crowd noise from abortion-rights protestors. That same week, Gov. Rick Perry, who has said he would sign the legislation, announced a second special session to take up the matter again.

Opponents have acknowledged it would be difficult to stop the heavily GOP Texas legislature from prevailing the second time. One Democrat, Sen. Eddie Lucio of Brownsville, voted for the bill in the first session and gave an impassioned plea during the filibuster to his Democrat colleague Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth, who gained international headlines for her stand against the bill. Lucio is a Senate co-sponsor of SB 1.

Pro-choice advocates have charged that the ambulatory care requirements would cause 36 of the 42 Texas abortion clinics to close their doors, while pro-lifers have argued the same standards should apply to abortion that apply to other surgical procedures.

According to the Associated Press, lawmakers spent more than 10 hours on Tuesday debating the bill as pro-life and pro-choice activists tried to make their voices heard on the Capitol grounds and one day after an estimated 2,000 pro-life activists rallied in support of the legislation amid heckles from opponents.

During Monday’s rally, the slate of speakers, led by former Arkansas governor and Fox News host Mike Huckabee, hit a common theme — the inherent value of human life — with several speakers making a point to state their Christian love for pro-choice activists, clad in orange, on the fringes of the crowd.

Huckabee followed Concerned Women for America CEO Penny Nance, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and state Attorney General Greg Abbott, who is expected to seek the governor’s office after Gov. Rick Perry, a fellow Republican, announced earlier in the day he would not seek another term.

Southern Baptists on the platform included Jim Richards, executive director of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, and Steve Washburn, pastor of First Baptist Church in Pflugerville, both of whom prayed, and First Baptist Church of Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress, who kicked off the rally with a fiery speech characterizing the abortion debate as being between “light and darkness, good and evil, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan.”

Richards, who closed the rally in prayer, reminded the crowd that more than 2,400 SBTC churches stand with them in upholding the sanctity of human life as part of their confession of faith.

Huckabee, in his keynote address, said “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are not ordained by a government document but by God. He framed the abortion debate in the context of the Holocaust and slavery. The foundation for both lay in the poisonous concept that one person or group is better than another.


—TEXAN correspondent Bonnie Pritchett contributed to this report.

Pro-life legislators: Encouragement from constituents matters

AUSTIN—In the wake of raucous abortion-rights demonstrations at the state Capitol, Texas’ pro-life legislators said encouragement from their constituents makes a difference.

In the days leading up to the failed effort to pass the omnibus pro-life bill in the first special legislative session, the chants and shouts of burnt orange-clad abortion-rights protestors was an intimidating sight, one legislator admitted.

“We’re still human; it does affect you,” said state Rep. Greg Bonnen, R-Friendswood.

A neurosurgeon, Bonnen said he is at peace with his pro-life convictions, which are rooted in his faith and what he said was an academic study of the issue. He said his cohorts are firm in their position. But hearing the cries of protestors can give even a pro-life legislator pause.

“It never hurts to get that affirmation,” said Rep. Cindy Burkett, R-Garland, co-author of House Bill 2, the latest incarnation of the omnibus pro-life legislation. Burkett said even she has been guilty of not encouraging her representative politicians when they support positive bills.

In a show of support, Concerned Women for America (CWA) is organizing a rally for 7 p.m. Monday (July 8) on the front steps of the Capitol. As of Wednesday, featured speakers included Gov. Rick Perry, CWA Chief Executive Penny Nance, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee of FOX News Channel, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, parents of 19 children whose youngest was born at 25 weeks, Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas, and Marilyn Musgrave of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.

The Duggars star in the long-running “19 Kids & Counting” cable reality show on TLC.

Pro-life advocates were largely outnumbered during the closing hours of the first special session June 25 when abortion-rights demonstrators filled the Senate gallery and adjoining space, creating enough noise to help thwart a last-minute vote on the pro-life bill as abortion-friendly legislators asked a series of procedural questions to bog down business until the midnight deadline passed. An estimated 5,000 abortion-rights advocates again rallied July 1 at the opening of the second special session.

Bonnen said he was on the Senate floor when the gallery erupted with screams and catcalls in the closing minutes of the first special session, creating procedural chaos.

“What happened was completely unprecedented. That was an affront to the people of the state of Texas. That’s completely unacceptable,” Bonnen said.

In the second special session, pro-life leaders have called upon supporters to make their presence known in Austin. Pro-life legislators said the sight of an increasing number of their supporters in Austin in the opening days of the second special session was heartening.

“It does me good to see it,” said Burkett, the Garland Republican.

During the regular session of the 83rd Texas Legislature, Bonnen, an HB 2 co-author, said he rarely heard from pro-life supporters. But in the last week, communications from his district and across the state are calling for passage of HB 2.

Burkett bristled at the rhetoric of abortion-rights proponents in testimonies and protests. Signs reading “Gov. Perry Hates Women” and charges that the measure would force women to have “back-alley abortions” are unconscionable hyperbole, she argued. Critics have charged that Burkett cannot be trusted with women’s health.

“That’s a little over the top,” she said.

“It bothers me that a group of folks that may not be representative of Texans stopped the process,” said Burkett, alluding to accusations that some of the abortions-rights protestors were from national left-wing organizations.

Among the demonstrators on Monday and Tuesday, signs provided by, a left-wing group funded by billionaire George Soros, were very visible.

That’s why the July 8 rally and continued communication from constituents are important to steel the legislators’ resolve, Bonnen, the neurosurgeon and state representative, said.

“It will be reassuring to see that show of support; to let [legislators] know they are making a difference,” he added.

Great Hills members shine light of Christ in dialogue with abortion activists

AUSTIN—Hugely outnumbered, half a dozen Christians stood before an impassioned crowd of abortion-rights activists in a State Capitol overflow auditorium June 23 and tried to speak for pro-life legislation scheduled for debate in the Texas House. When an Austin pastor tried to address them, he couldn’t utter a sentence before angry shouts and scripted chants drowned out his words.

What followed was completely unscripted. Within a hostile environment, seeds of faith and hope were planted. What grew from that moment was something only God could have orchestrated, witnesses said.

“Can I say something?” Dan Forshee asked the audience of about 250 people awaiting the start of the Texas House of Representatives’ debate on Senate Bill 5, legislation that would have restricted abortions after 20 weeks and required stricter standards of abortion providers.

Forshee, the pastor of Great Hills Baptist Church, was only one of about 25 pro-life advocates—most of them from his church—in the auditorium. The audience had just been stirred by a 10-minute impromptu pep rally lead by Lize Burr, president of the Central Texas Democratic Women. Burr demurely asked the crowd if Forshee should be allowed to speak. The room erupted in shouts of “No!” and “Boo!”

Undeterred, Forshee and five fellow church members made their way to the front of the auditorium.

He asked Burr, “So your voice can be heard but ours can’t?”

Again shouts.

Forshee continued, “Your forefathers and my forefathers, they died …”

The rest of his statement was lost in the ensuing outburst.

The Great Hills members were at the Capitol because Cindy Ausmussen, a fellow church member and Concerned Women for America Central Texas director, had sent out a last-minute plea for support from her church. Little did she know the hostility they would endure.

“There was a real, palpable antagonism. It was strong,” said Forshee about his efforts to address the audience.

His wife Ashley attempted to interject. Without a microphone her raised voice shook with emotion as she asked the audience to observe the same decorum shown on the House floor when competing ideas are debated.

“This is a protest! This is not the Legislature!”

Chants of “Get out!” began to swell.

But above the clamor a few voices called out.

“Let her speak.”

Curiously, the cry came not from fellow pro-life supporters but from the sea of orange-clad abortion proponents.

Later, as the organized shout-down continued a few protestors approached Forshee and apologized for the outburst. They asked him and his group to speak their piece in person. Clusters of people began to listen as Great Hills church members began addressing specific concerns introduced by the protestors. As challenges to God’s role in human creation and the nature of life itself were voiced, the pro-lifers patiently and graciously presented their answers in a way that seemed to disarm those listening.

Ashley Forshee spoke with two women, one of whom confided that her father had raped her over a seven-year period. Had she been impregnated by her father, the woman argued, under SB 5 she could not have had an abortion because the law made no exceptions for rape. Dan Forshee said his wife’s heart broke for the young women and for more than an hour, Ashley Forshee talked with them and tried to explain how God can bring peace to the human heart.

At the same time, Dan Forshee spoke with a woman who claimed her views on abortion were rooted in her Christian faith. But Forshee discovered her knowledge of Scripture was very limited even though her T-shirt bore Ephesians 3:20 on the back. She was unfamiliar with Psalm 139 and King David’s eloquent description of God’s hand in the creation of humanity.

The woman parroted the oft-spoken rational that unwanted babies will be born to destitute mothers with little to no means to care for them. Therefore, abortion is the compassionate option to a life of poverty, she said.

But when Forshee said avoiding a presumed life of poverty is no excuse for the abortion of 30 million babies since Roe vs. Wade (Forshee acknowledged his numbers were low), the woman was stunned.

“She said, ‘No. That cannot be,’” the pastor said.

“They have those programmed, pat answers and when you come back with the truth it really rattles them.”

Forshee continued to refute the women’s arguments by championing the role Christian ministries play in the lives of the poor.

Ausmussen was countering some of the same preconceived ideas as she spoke with three young women who, like many of their peers, too easily dismissed the correlation between God and the creation of life.

“They do not believe we are made in the image of God—that we have value, purpose and a reason,” she said.

Confounded by their ideology, Ausmussen asked, “What is the meaning of life, of being human?”

She tried to detail the intricacies of human creation but was rebuffed. The women refused to believe her assertions about medical development of the fetus and the abysmal care some women receive by abortion providers.

But they were open to further discussion of the matter and two of the women gave Ausmussen their email addresses.

She said, “I’m praying that will be the door to minister to them individually.”

Though the confrontation with the abortion activists was emotionally jarring, Ausmussen said she was grateful for the experience. It gave the members of Great Hills a chance to speak truth to women who had not heard it.

Ausmussen said the experience brought to mind Proverbs 18:17: “The first to state his case seems right until another comes and cross-examines him.”

“We’re just trying to show that what they believe is a lie, if they’ll listen,” she said.

Forshee said he, too, was grateful for the opportunity to share his faith and truths from Scripture with those who had not heard it but said he left the meeting with a feeling of sorrow. An overwhelming spirit of sadness and deception had permeated the auditorium, he said.

At the close of discussions, ideologies were not changed nor were lives given to Christ, but Forshee and Ausmussen said they believe lives were influenced. So much of ministry is just showing up and being available, Forshee said.

“What God did?” Ausmussen asked. “God used it in a way we won’t ever realize.”

—A rally for life is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday on the Capitol steps in Austin to encourage passage of pro-life legislation during the second special session of the Texas Legislature that began this week. Churches are encouraged to bring vans and buses full of their members to attend the peaceful rally as the Legislature considers HB 2 and SB 9. The bills would outlaw most abortions beyond 20 weeks, require abortion doctors to maintain a standard of care and to have privileges at a hospital within a 30-mile radius of their practice. 

Christian schools must produce disciples, association director says

PLANO—“Kingdom education is about salvation. It’s about discipleship. It’s about bringing kids to Christ and equipping kids so they will go fulfill God’s will and bring honor and glory to him in their service to Christ,” said Ed Gamble, executive director of the Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools.

Gamble shared his philosophy of what he calls “kingdom education” at a June meeting of the association at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. The Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools has 162 member schools with 92 of those schools in Texas.

Teachers and administrators gathered to learn how to help students further their kingdom education through conferences and workshops.  Multiple topics of importance in education today were addressed, including “Intelligent Design & Creationism Integration, School-wide,” “Developing Critical Thinkers of Worldview and Culture,” and “The Protectors Program—Freedom from Bullying,” in addition to many others.

In his address to educators, Gamble shared the philosophy and focus of kingdom education, which differs greatly from current secular education.

“The purpose of secular education is to give you a means by which you can make a living, so you can buy stuff and so you can live well and so you can die well.” On the other hand, Gamble said kingdom education is a lifelong, Bible-based, Christ-centered education from the cradle to the grave.

Kingdom education has five basic tenets, Gamble said—Bible-based, Christ-centered, Holy Spirit-controlled, pupil-related and socially oriented—with a focus on helping kids develop a biblical worldview.

“We are seeking to raise up a generation that can interact with the world and share the Good News, the Great Commission of Jesus Christ, and bring honor and glory to God in their service of him,” Gamble explained.

“Your concept of reality and truth is based upon your worldview,” he added. “We know reality and truth has to do with the fact that eternal God exists and that God has revealed himself to us, to man, through the Bible. And so therefore, that affects our beliefs. What we believe is what we value. What we value is what we do.

“If we are going to transform young people, we’ve got to transform their belief system. That’s what kingdom education does. It transforms their belief system.”

The Southern Baptist Association of Christian Schools website is

Pro-life rally 7 p.m. Monday in Austin

AUSTIN—Pro-life groups are planning a rally at 7 p.m. Monday (July 8) on the state Capitol steps in Austin to support legislation that would outlaw most abortions after 20 weeks and require abortion doctors to meet standards of care and keep hospital privileges within a 30-mile radius of their practices.

The abortion bills filed in the House and Senate, HB 2 and SB 9, carry on where the omnibus SB 5, which died after time expired in the first special session on June 25, left off.

A second special session began Monday afternoon. HB 2 was scheduled for a House committee hearing on Tuesday, with action on the bills most likely to be taken up early next week following the July 4 holiday.

As of Wednesday, featured speakers for the Monday rally included Gov. Rick Perry, CWA Chief Executive Penny Nance, former Arkansas Gov. and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee of FOX News Channel, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, parents of 19 children whose youngest was born at 25 weeks, Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church of Dallas, and Marilyn Musgrave of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List.

The Duggars star in the long-running “19 Kids & Counting” cable reality show on TLC.

Abortion-rights protestors, estimated at between 3,000-5,000, showed up on Monday at the Capitol in burnt orange, as they did a week ago, holding signs and chanting messages about women’s rights. One sign claimed “Rick Perry hates women!” while another, printed by George Soros’, read, “I stand with Wendy,” speaking of state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who filibustered SB 5 for more than 10 hours before procedural breakdown halted the bill more than an hour later. Pro-lifers, though outnumbered and mostly dressed in blue on Monday, prayed and sang. A few wore red tape across their mouths with the word “LIFE” written on it.

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention is among the groups promoting the rally. Churches are being encouraged to bring vans and buses with their members to peacefully gather on the Capitol steps.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a supporter of the legislation, told the National Right to Life Committee national meeting last week in Dallas, “Over the past few days, the world has seen images of the Texas Capitol, filled with pro-abortion activists screaming, cheering, and drowning out our elected officials.

“Going forward, we have to match their intensity, but with the grace and dignity of the very cause we champion. We need to voice our opinions and stand for what we believe without compromising our values, or our basic goodness.”