Skip to main content

Ann Richards' Daughter, Sandra Bland's Mother Back Hillary Clinton

Two women with Texas ties — one the daughter of a legend, the other a mother who lost her child in a Texas jail —pressed the case for Hillary Clinton's presidency at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday evening.

The Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 25, 2016.

PHILADELPHIA — Two women with Texas ties — one the daughter of a legend, the other a mother who lost her child in a Texas jail —pressed the case for Hillary Clinton's presidency at the Democratic National Convention Tuesday evening. 

"This isn’t just about electing the first woman president, it’s about electing this woman president," said Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards, daughter of the late former Gov. Ann Richards and a leading liberal abortion rights activist.

Richards reminded the Democratic audience of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning House Bill 2, the state's attempt to impose strict restrictions on abortion clinics.

"Not long ago, the Supreme Court ruled that the Texas laws that forced abortion providers to close their doors are dangerous and unconstitutional," she said. "But the fight’s not over. Donald Trump has pledged to appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade and undo decades of progress."

She also invoked her mother's wit when mentioning the gender milestone of a major party nominating a female standard bearer.

"I can almost hear Mom saying, 'Well, it sure took y’all long enough,'" she said.

Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland, noted that Monday marked the one-year anniversary of her daughter's burial after dying in a Waller County jail. Three days after she was arrested after a traffic stop, Bland was found hanged in her cell. Her death has been ruled a suicide.

The circumstances of Bland's arrest, which was caught on dashboard camera video, spurred a national discussion about race and policing. The FBI and Texas Rangers investigated, Bland's mother filed a wrongful death lawsuit, legislative hearings were held and the screening process for new inmates in Texas county jails was changed.

Reed-Veal endorsed Clinton during the Democratic primary fight.

"Hillary knows that when a young black life is cut short, it’s not just a personal loss. It is a national loss," she said. "It is a loss that diminishes all of us. What a blessing to be here tonight, so that Sandy can still speak through her momma."

Johnathan Silver contributed to this report.

Disclosure: Planned Parenthood has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.

The Texas Tribune Member Drive Fall 2021 banner

Support public-service journalism that’s always free to read.

Yes, I'll donate today