At a press conference on Tuesday organized by the anti-abortion group Texas Right to Life, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) reaffirmed that his ultimate legislative objective is to restrict all women’s access to abortion services.
Members of Texas Right to Life are currently pushing their state’s legislators to pass a “fetal pain” bill that would ban abortions after just 20 weeks — despite the fact that there’s no scientific evidence that fetuses can actually feel pain at that point. As the Huffington Post reports, Perry not only enthusiastically endorsed such a measure, but also confirmed his “goal” to continue passing restrictive legislation to limit women’s Constitutional right to choose:
To be clear, my goal, and the goal of many of those joining me here today, is to make abortion, at any stage, a thing of the past. While Roe v. Wade prevents us from taking that step, it does allow states to do some things to protect life if they can show there is a compelling state interest. I don’t think there is any issue that better fits the definition of ‘compelling state interest’ than preventing the suffering of our state’s unborn. [...]
Again, the ideal world is a world without abortion. Until then, however, we will continue to pass laws to ensure abortions are as rare as possible under existing law.
Perry does not support legal abortion access for women who have become impregnated from rape or incest, a far-right position that cost several anti-choice candidates their seats in last month’s election.
The governor has already taken significant steps toward accomplishing his goal in Texas. He has signed a bill requiring women seeking abortions to undergo a mandatory ultrasound — the same type of legislation that the Oklahoma Supreme Court recently ruled unconstitutional because it goes too far to restrict women’s right to legal abortion under Roe v. Wade — and is working hard to defund the Planned Parenthood clinics that provide reproductive services to low-income women across the state.