Texas Capitol Police Spend 1.5 Hours Confiscating Tampons, While Concealed Guns Are Welcomed

UPDATE, July 12 11:00 p.m.: Tom Hargis, a communications representative from the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, told RH Reality Check by email: “At this time I cannot speak to the legality of DPS officials confiscating women’s tampons. What is clear, however, is that with the impending passage of this legislation, we are witnessing an abuse of power aimed at half of the Texas population. Women—republicans, democrats, greens, and libertarians—will not forget when they go to the voting booth. We already know that a majority of Texans don’t want politicians interfering with a woman’s profoundly personal medical decisions. Texas politicians are finding that out first-hand at the Capitol tonight.”

UPDATE, July 12, 8:35 p.m.: As the Texas Tribune notes, many reproductive rights supporters are questioning aspects of the Texas DPS’s statement. Furthermore, the Tribune asked DPS officers around the capitol about the jars of feces and urine claim: “multiple officers throughout the Capitol said they had not heard of any jars being found until a reporter mentioned it. Several officers also said they had not heard anything on the DPS radio system about jars of any excrement.”

UPDATE, July 12, 6:10 p.m.: The Texas Department of Public Safety has released a brief statement confirming that “feminine hygiene products” were among the items that were “required to be discarded” before individuals could enter the Texas Capitol for a time Friday. The department says it also collected jars “suspected to contain” feces, urine, and paint. The department did not state why it stopped collecting items.

State troopers spent an hour and a half Friday confiscating tampons and sanitary pads, among other items, from Texans hoping to enter the public gallery to watch the final debate over HB 2, an omnibus anti-abortion bill that would shut down all but five abortion clinics in the state. The move meant that menstruating people would either have to refrain from entering the gallery, or do so without sanitary products.

Concealed handguns, however, were as welcome as ever—in fact, there’s a line in the Texas Capitol for anyone who wants to bypass security with a weapon.

Volunteers in orange shirts wound through the capitol rotunda, filling reusable shopping bags with enough drug store essentials to stock a small quick-stop, asking folks to surrender their most necessary items before they got to the gallery doors to speed up the seating process.

With just under 500 people packing the senate gallery to maximum capacity, word finally came from the office of state Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin) that state troopers had stopped taking up the sanitary items, meaning that menstruating Texans could continue to comfortably participate in democracy at their own state capitol.

Reproductive rights supporters have been tweeting about the incident under the #tampongate hashtag.

Texas’ Republican majority is expected to pass HB 2 late Friday or early Saturday.

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  • HeilMary1

    What jaw-dropping misogyny! Perhaps, women with periods should write “baby on board” on every tampon in their purses! And did the troopers also confiscate condoms and Viagra vials from every cheating GOPer??

    • gmac

      Again with the anger? Nice stereo type. Shows your intelligence level. It was because almost all of the pro choice people are angry, and animalistic like you. That’s why they confiscated your stuff. What about the feces, urine, blood and all the other stuff they confiscated from you animals. Sickening

      • Jennifer Starr

        The only anger I’m seeing is from you. Honestly, you’re nearly foaming at the mouth with it. Can’t be good for your blood pressure.

      • Valde

        What about the feces, urine, blood and all the other stuff they confiscated from you animals.

        Citation needed.

      • HeilMary1

        Mother killer, I wasn’t even there. Texas is a long, long way from D.C. And as for waste material, did you know that forcing childbirth on women causes embarrassing, divorce-triggering incontinence in 50% of all mothers?! You commit sickening criminal Munchausen by Proxy abuse that results in incontinence when you force pregnancies on women.

      • fiona64

        What about the feces, urine, blood and all the other stuff they confiscated from you animals.

        You mean, the “stuff” that an anti-choice journalist admits was a fabrication? http://samuel-warde.com/2013/07/no-jars-of-urine-or-feces-found-or-confiscated-at-texas-abortion-ban-protest-video/

        What about it?

  • Girl using brain

    Don’t republicans realize that women can now vote? Are they even TRYING to get our support?

    • liberaldem

      You really have to wonder if the Texas GOP has gone completely out of their collective minds. Were they afraid of being pelted with tampons or Kotex?
      Their fear of women, sexuality and common sense is truly frightening.

      • VeggieTart

        That they were more afraid of tampons–which won’t do a whole lot of damage of someone throws it at you–than of guns–which will do a lot of damage should you get in the way of a bullet–speaks to the misogyny of some males in Texas. Their fear and distrust of women is what’s behind these draconian bills regulating women’s bodies.

    • colleen2

      I know. It’s extraordinary isn’t it? Who VOTES for these guys? Aren’t they embarrassed?

      • DonnaLee

        What the women of Texax need to do is NOT VOTE FOR ANY REPUBLICANS! At all….get them all thrown out on their asses! That someone thought it was a good idea to confiscate them is disgusting. It actually makes me think they should take maxipads and stick them to all of the Republican’s cars instead.

        • colleen2

          we could always mail them. I’m sure that women from all over the country would be willing to and those priority mail rates are really quite reasonable……

          • DonnaLee

            No see I know how mail works, its the secretary that will get overwhelmed with it. And reactions from outside Texas won’t matter to those crackerheads, since I’m from a Blue State and all.

    • kayatz3

      They do realize it, that’s why they are hell bent on stopping it….They really want to go back about a century, when they had all control.

    • ChesireKat

      How about supporting responsible gun laws?

      http://www.americansforresponsiblesol... If this link does not work from here pls go to Gabby Giffords website: Americans For Responsible Solutions,

  • Halophila

    The only thing they confiscated from me was my sunblock. They must have thought I might

    SPF 50 someone to death or something.

    • DonnaLee

      See and what was their rationale for that?

  • gmac

    It was awesome to see the CHL line. No one mentioned the fact that with all the obnoxious behavior no one used a gun in any way, pulled out a gun, and you didn’t hear anything about guns. It was obnoxious to people staring me down as if the would abort me that second if they could get away with it, bumping into me intentionally, swinging shirts and hitting me. Hmmm and gun control is the answer for mass shootings? Clear evidence a gun never hurt anyone, people do. I think anyone bringing feces urine and the things I heard of should have had it poured on them by the officers then kicked out! Even if I was pro choice I would have been ashamed at the animalistic behavior of almost your entire side. I prayed for all of you and respect passion, but come on. Why the hate, and utterly ugly behavior? God bless,

    • LisaC

      to people staring me down as if the would abort me that second if they could get away with it

      Garrett, I’m assuming from your typing prowess that you are not a fetus in utero. So you can stop worrying about someone aborting you when your back is turned.

      • HeilMary1

        He’s a would-be George Zimmerman hoping a pro-choicer will sigh in his direction so he has an excuse to shoot to defend his “honor”.

    • LisaC


      and you didn’t hear anything about guns.

      Clearly you don’t follow the pro-life social media. That’s very wise of you.

    • Elderlady

      which do you think would do the most damage, should it hit you….. a tampon, or a bullet. Just wonderin’

    • Shirley Rosenhohn

      If brains were taxed, you’d get a refund…

    • HeilMary1

      Mother killer, you sound like a pedophile George Zimmerman eager to shoot any child-free women toting bc pills that rattle like Skittles.

    • kayatz3

      You tend to get stuck on the ugly, but untrue, aspects of the story. They never found anything like feces or urine.

  • http://wwww.minecraftchannel.net/ Minecraft

    Um. That’s what happened and also some other information related to this work.

  • LisaC

    Some anti-choicers tweeted during the session that the DPS was locking pro-lifers in basement offices to protect them from a gun- and chain-wielding mob. Later, they tweeted that DPS was urging all pro-lifers to leave the building for their own safety. Either they were making things up, or the DPS was happy to let chain-wielding mobs roam the building and prey upon unsuspecting non-twitter-using pro-lifers. Could RH Reality Check possibly call the DPS tomorrow and get an official statement on which it was?

    • fiona64

      Anti-choicers lying? Who would have imagined such a thing … /snark

  • Elderlady

    Totally embarrassed to say I live in Talibanexass.

  • djstucrew

    Simple logic: people who legally carry weapons and have jumped through all of the hoops to get a valid permit are not a threat. Media hacks have made this a false dichotomy; worrying about flying tampons is equally as dumb.

    • fiona64

      Right … because no nutcase has ever legally had access to guns …

      And I say this as a gun owner. Get real; we all know someone who shouldn’t be allowed access to a *rubber band* and who yet has firearms.

      • djstucrew

        Oh, so your standard is perfection, then? Great! An unachievable goal! You’re Sarah Brady’s ally now. Nice goin’.

        The POINT is that you have less to worry about from holders of valid permits than you do even from cops, let alone just a typical gun owner.