You'd think the day Texas plans to put an end to safe and legal abortion, they'd be extra nice to the women whose fundamental rights will suddenly be stripped away by a bunch of Republicans with two-dollar haircuts. Nope. Not only is Texas planning to pass the most draconian anti-abortion bill in the country, but they're also planning to do it while proverbially slapping Texas women in the face.
According to journalists on the ground, on Friday afternoon, security guards started confiscating tampons and pads from women attending House proceedings. Yup. Women who are on their period and need their sanitary products will need to leave their "weapons" at the door or be turned away. But don't worry, if you happened to bring your gun and you have your concealed carry permit, you're all set! Go right in. No need to check your gun at the door, but you're going to have to leave your tampon with them. Why are they taking pads and tampons away from women? To punish them for having a uterus? No of course not. That's what SB1, the bill that will shut down most abortion clinics in the state, is there for. According to Huffington Post, it was to preserve the "rules of decorum" because officials suspected they would be used as projectiles.
When the news about the no tampon rule spread on Twitter, women could not contain their outrage (or their lady hormones as Texas Republicans would probably put it).
It didn't take long for tampon-themed memes to take over the internet either.
Women outside the legislature started screaming: "Whose Choice? Our Choice."
Reporter Jessica Luther took a picture of the anti-tampon brigade. It takes some courage to search female protesters who are on their potential periods, but someone has got to do it.
This citizen was holding confiscated tampons for women entering the legislature. Other potentially dangerous projectiles seemed to include a six pack of Strawberry Nutri Grain bars and some butter cookies.
Anyone else starting to think that Texas is turning into the worst episode of Mad Men ever? Weigh in on #TamponGate on Twitter and don't forget to use #HB2 to join the conversation. You can send your donations to LillithFund. From the looks of it, women in Texas are really going to need it.
UPDATE: Huffington Post is reporting that "according to a tweet from Stand With Texas Women, the Department of Public Safety has stopped confiscating tampons and maxi pads." Burnt Orange report claims that Sen. Kirk Watson ordered the DPS to stop banning the products in question and called confiscating them "boneheaded" and "crazy."
Reports about protesters trying to smuggle containers filled with urine or feces into the building are being hotly debated. Pro-choice activists are putting these allegations into question after reporters from the The Texas Tribune couldn't find a single officer outside the Senate gallery who had seen or heard of these alleged incidents.