Nineteen UT-Austin faculty members sign letter against Texas abortion legislation

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Updated at 5:36 p.m.: Fourteen more UT faculty members have added their names to the open letter, bringing the total number of faculty supporters to 19.

Original story: As the Texas Senate gets ready to pass abortion legislation and send the bill to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's desk, UT faculty members have signed an open letter that speaks against the abortion legislation.

The letter features professors and activists statewide. It calls for rallies and protests nationwide and announces a rally Monday, July 15 at the Texas Capitol at 8 p.m. 

"We believe it is possible to win back our rights, but only if we take a stand in the way that people have been standing for their rights in Brazil, Egypt, and Greece: by understanding that popular protest has the ability to change what a narrow minority of people impose under the fiction of legality," the letter states.

Five UT faculty members signed the letter, including English associate professor Brian A. Bremen, American studies professor Janet M. Davis, government associate professor Terri E. Givens, radio-television-film lecturer Karen Kocher and education policy and planning professor Angela Valenzuela. Two UT doctoral students also signed the letter.

The abortion legislation in the Texas legislature would ban abortion after twenty weeks, increase regulations at abortion clinics and attach additional rules to abortion-inducing drugs. Supporters of the legislation have said it makes the abortion procedure safer. Opponents of the legislation have claimed the bill will make it more difficult to obtain an abortion in Texas.

The Texas Senate is set to convene at 2 p.m. on Friday.

Follow Bobby Blanchard on Twitter @bobbycblanchard.

Correction: This article has been updated with the correct date of an expected rally.