A Texas Senator Shattered a Glass Table While Trying to Silence Pro-Choice Testimony

In order to end a witness's testimony against an anti-abortion bill, Texas Senator Charles Schwertner, chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, slammed his gavel so hard that he shattered the glass on a table where the senators and witnesses were gathered. 

Schwertner spent Wednesday morning introducing and defending a bill that would prohibit women from donating fetal tissue from their abortions to science, as San Antonio Current reports. Along with this piece of legislation were two other anti-abortion bills: "one to throw out the safest abortion procedure for second-trimester pregnancies and the other to mandate all abortion remains are buried and cremated," according to the Current.

"I'm here on behalf of all absent women, families and doctors across the state whose lives will be negatively impacted by this bill," Maggie Hennessy, an intern with NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, began her testimony.

"This bill is full of false, medically inaccurate, ideological language designed to further stigmatize and shame women receiving abortion care. It’s an outright ban on the safest abortion method for some patients. In order to obtain care that is not banned by this bill, women would be forced to undergo an additional, invasive and unnecessary medical procedure, even against the medical judgment of their physician," Hennessy continued, referring to SB 415, the bill that would prohibit the safest abortion procedure for second-trimester pregnancies, The Slot reports.  

According to San Antonio Current, after only a minute of testimony, Schwertner interrupted, saying, "Ms. Hennessy, your time is done." But Hennessy kept speaking, finally finishing, "I urge you all to stop playing with reproductive health care as if it's your own political puppet."

It was at that moment when Schwertner brought down the gavel so hard that the glass on the table shattered. 

Alexa Garcia-Ditta, communications and policy initiatives director at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, drew attention to the incident when she posted a photo of the broken glass on Twitter, according to The Slot.