In the wake of election results nearing certification and Georgia's runoff elections coming to an end, President Donald Trump supporters took to the State Capitol to rally in solidarity with Washington D.C. and other nationwide protests.
Hundreds of supporters gathered to protest election results, falsely asserting that the election has been "stolen" from Trump. The event on Facebook, titled "Occupy The Capitol for Trump—Austin," counted 221 people who said they would be there.
At the base of the Capitol, more than 200 people gathered clad with signs reading "stop the steal" or "hang traitors" and flags galore, and at the intersection of 11th Street and Congress Avenue.
People gathered in groups, mostly unmasked, listening to live country performers, chanting and praying.
Floridian Alicia Andrews, who is a native Texan, said she came to protest for democracy and freedom, and to bring power back to the people.
"I don't agree with the stealing of the election and the loss of freedom," Andrews said. "I think there has been a lot of things in play to take the power away from the people and turn it to the hands of the elites who see a better way. There is no voice of our people if the elections are stolen."
While protesters gathered near the Capitol building at first, Texas DPS troopers closed the grounds after people tried to storm inside, mimicking the chaos in D.C. What started as a protest outside the U.S. Capitol turned into a mob of pro-Trump supporters breaching through security barriers and through the building.
Pro-Trump protesters carrying flags march through the Capitol building, chanting "we want Trump," forcing a lockdow… https://t.co/6hQ0V6jYRV— ABC News (@ABC News) 1609963415.0
The more time went on, the more violence ensued everywhere.
In Austin, fights were frequent and occurred both between the growing presence of non-Trump supporters and between people who were originally on the same side. Some Trump supporters began to leave, saying they didn't support the violence and yelling going on by the party they originally came to support. Some people in the area said the loud chanting of "f--- ANTIFA" became too much too handle.
One protester, who left before giving his name, said he didn't agree with the yelling and said he came to the event to have open conversations, not pick fights with people who didn't agree with him.
"I'm sick of not having dialogue—speaking," he said. "I'm from Austin, so I'm conservative, yes, but I'm open to anything. I just want us to come to something besides screaming and hollering over each other."
Crowds at the Texas Capitol began diminishing at around 4 p.m.
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Austin Nicholson was ahead of the curve when he got his vasectomy in September 2021, saving himself a long line as Austin-area doctors say the demand for sterilization has seen a “significant” spike since Roe v. Wade was overturned on Friday.
Nicholson, 25, said he would prefer to adopt children, had felt the Supreme Court decision coming for a while, and, wary of the consequences, he decided to pull the trigger and make an appointment.
“A big part of it was the political climate. We could both potentially face consequences and she would definitely face more consequences, which I also personally would not want,” Nicholson said. “I didn't want to be stuck in Texas and have a potential abortion on the mind when it's illegal.”
According to vasectomy specialist Dr. Luke Machen of Austin Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, the clinic received over 150 vasectomy appointment requests combined on Friday and Monday following the ruling. Typically, the clinic performs 45-50 vasectomies per month.
The Austin Urology Institute reported that they received about 70 calls in the first hour after the ruling was released. OBYN at Women’s Health Domain reported receiving over 100 requests from women interested in getting their tubes tied.
“I would say a significant number of patients who scheduled recently have mentioned the Supreme Court case,” Machen said. “A lot of guys have said they were thinking about having a vasectomy over the last year or so, and the ruling was the final push to get it done.”
The average patient at Austin Fertility who receives a vasectomy is about 37, though Machen said he has started to see an increased number of patients with zero children choosing to get a vasectomy. While they put together a study, Machen expects demand for the procedure to plateau but stay higher than before the ruling.
Machen said vasectomy is the most effective form of permanent birth control, requires only about a week of recovery time, is reversible with success rates of up to 95% and has no effects on sexual function or testosterone.
Nicholson said the procedure was less than $700, he was never in any pain, had very little recovery time and has never regretted the decision—in fact, he has happily recommended the procedure to friends.
“It helps me feel better knowing that I won't put a woman in that situation where she'd have to be faced with a potentially life-altering decision, or consequence even,” Nicholson said. “I actually have had three of my friends ask me questions about it and tell me that they were considering it.”
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