AUSTIN (AP) — Hundreds of activists rallied Thursday outside the Texas Capitol for Planned Parenthood, one of the organizations most-vilified by conservative lawmakers inside the building.
Thursday was Planned Parenthood's annual lobbying day and after the demonstration, the crowd fanned out to meet individually with legislators.
The Republican-controlled Legislature targeted Planned Parenthood in 2011, when it outlawed state funds going to organizations linked to abortion providers.
The Senate Education Committee has also begun mulling a bill barring Planned Parenthood from teaching sex education in public schools — even though that only happens in rare cases around the state.
The rally featured actress Stephanie March from NBC's "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," who told demonstrators: "I'm tired of Texas being crazy!" That drew sustained applause and hollering.
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More than 100 trees covered in lights now shine bright throughout Zilker Park. The Trail of Lights is open for another season.
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Santa visited Austin early on Sunday, joining hundreds of motorcyclists for their annual Toy Run.
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