Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) directly attacked state Sen. Wendy Davis (D) during a speech at the National Right To Life conference on Thursday, arguing that the state senator who filibustered for 13 hours to defeat an omnibus anti-abortion bill should have learned from her own life experiences as a single mother to value “every life.”
“Who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can’t grow to live successful lives?” Perry asked, before suggesting that Davis’ own struggles should have turned her against abortion:
PERRY: In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.
Perry has called the Texas senate into another special session on Monday in order to pass the bill, which would, in part, outlaw abortions after 20 weeks and effectively close down 90 percent of clinics in the state. Democrats will likely be unable to block the measure a second time. “We will ban abortion after 20 weeks!” Perry proclaimed at the conference.
During his remarks, the Texas governor also described Davis’ filibuster as “hijacking of the Democratic process” and said of the pro-choice movement, “the louder they scream, the more we know that we are getting something done.”
Perry’s policies are actually likely to encourage more unintended teen pregnancies. After the Texas governor defunded Planned Parenthood and slashed family planning funding, dozens of women’s health clinics in the state were forced to close. Studies from the state’s health department and the New England Journal of Medicine have both projected that fewer women in Texas now have access to birth control, and more of them will accidentally get pregnant.
Planned Parenthood Action Fund responds: “Rick Perry’s remarks are incredibly condescending and insulting to women. This is exactly why the vast majority of Texans believe that politicians shouldn’t be involved in a woman’s personal health care decisions. Women are perfectly capable of deciding whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child, and they don’t need Rick Perry’s help making that decision.”