What Would President Perry Mean for Your Rights? Get Ready for Forced Ultrasound and Other Violations

Cross-posted from Blog for Choice.

Gov. Rick Perry (R-Texas) is expected to announce his candidacy for president this weekend.

Perry is Texas’ longest-serving governor, having succeeded George W. Bush in 2000, and his nascent campaign is getting a ton of attention. But what do we really know about Rick Perry?

Well, my staff and I have been working to answer that question, sifting through voting records and other material as several individuals declared their intention to run for president. This is part of our work to connect the personal with the political. How a candidate voted on choice or what actions he or she took as governor tell us a lot about what he or she would do if elected president.

In this spirit, we recently analyzed the records of Gov. Perry and 11 other announced and potential GOP presidential candidates.

Gov. Perry’s choice-related actions as governor of Texas are dominated by anti-choice positions.

So, what kind of effect do these laws have on women’s freedom and privacy?

Many of the laws he signed inject political interference into women’s private decision-making. Gov. Perry signed into law a measure that would require women to receive a state-mandated lecture that includes medically inaccurate information before they can access abortion care. He then signed additional legislation amending the law to force some women to make two trips to the provider before receiving abortion care.

Just this year, Gov. Perry signed into law a bill requiring that a woman seeking abortion care undergo an ultrasound–even if she does not want one, and even if her doctor does not recommend it.

He’s taken strong stances in support of anti-choice “crisis pregnancy centers” (CPCs). One law he helped to enact established “choose life” license plates, which allocate funding for CPCs. NARAL Pro-Choice Texas has been a leader in documenting how CPCs often mislead, misinform, harass, and intimidate women. A recent investigation found that several CPCs in Texas had racked up numerous safety and privacy violations.

And how’s this for supporting anti-choice ideology? Gov. Perry signed a proclamation declaring April 2009 “Abortion Recovery Awareness Month” in Texas. The proclamation claims that abortion “often leads to lasting emotional and mental health problems for the mother…” Perry is not alone in the primary field, as former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty also signed a similar proclamation in his state. This proclamation uses recycled and inflammatory anti-choice rhetoric that’s out of step with sound science. Just check out the studies that have examined the wide range of complex experiences and feelings women have regarding abortion.

We have talked a lot about our concerns with Gov. Perry’s record, but I assure you that we report the good and the bad. Gov. Perry has taken a couple of pro-choice actions. For example, Gov. Perry signed into law a measure that improves sex education for young people. And in 2003, he enacted a law ensuring that health plans that cover prescription medication also cover birth control. However, Perry effectively reversed this law two years later when he signed into law a measure allowing insurers to offer two health plans to employers–one plan that guarantees coverage of all mandated services, including contraception, and another that does not.

It would be interesting for reporters surrounding him in South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa to ask him his thoughts on the Department of Health and Human Services’ recent decision to accept medical experts’ recommendation that insurance plans cover contraception without an additional copay.

A handful of pro-choice actions aside, the prospect of President Perry should make us very worried. He has made inflammatory statements indicating how he would govern as an anti-choice president, calling Roe v. Wade “a shameful footnote in our nation’s history books” and “a stark reminder that our culture and our country are still in peril.”

Let’s not forget that the president has tremendous influence over reproductive-health policy in the United States. How much influence? See our publication, The Powers of the President: Reproductive Freedom and Choice.

As the 2012 campaign heats up, NARAL Pro-Choice America will continue to be your source for analysis of Gov. Perry and the other announced and potential Republican candidates.

For now, as the media hoopla surrounds Gov. Perry, we encourage Americans who value freedom and privacy to share this information with friends and family. It’s never too early to take a look at the record of someone who wants to live in the White House.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact press@rhrealitycheck.org.

  • freetobe

    that he is in the Christian fundamentalist group that wants to overturn the Government because they want to speed up the return of Jesus and so must force everyone into Christianity!

    These people are REALLY scary. I fear that the blinded ,uneducated voting public will not get the correct info on the candidates because the media has become right wing. It is one-sided to the right and the other side left or even independent is not being truthfully heard. We are in BIG trouble!

  • jimthompsonmensrightsvideos

    Enough with the euphemisms.

    You’re not terminating a potted plant. IT’S A BABY for God’s sake.

    I thank God for Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. It’s finally time to de-fund the Planned Parenthood infanticide industry and give unborn children the rights they deserve.

    Rick Perry’s got my vote!

    Perry/Bachmann 2012

  • prochoiceferret

    Enough with the euphemisms.

    You’re not terminating a potted plant. IT’S A BABY for God’s sake.


    It could be Chuck Norris, for all it matters. If it’s in a woman’s uterus, and she doesn’t want it there, it’s coming out. Capische?


    I thank God for Rick Perry and Michele Bachmann. It’s finally time to de-fund the Planned Parenthood infanticide industry and give unborn children the rights they deserve.


    Do you know what infanticide is? And why do you want to give “unborn children” special rights that no one else has, and that come at the expense of women’s rights to their own bodies?


    Rick Perry’s got my vote!


    Maybe we should take away your right to vote, and give it to women, so they can vote twice for the candidate of their choice. It would be no more idiotic than what you’re proposing.

  • forced-birth-rape

    Mens Rights groups = Wife-beatings and daughter rapes.

  • crowepps

    Enough with the euphemisms.


    Men’s Rights = Female Slavery


    Rick Perry is getting your vote because he wants to reduce females to chattel again.  Foolish boy, he wants to reduce MEN back to serfdom as well!

  • kj

    Thank the God I don’t beleive in that a Perry/Bachmann team stands no chance of winning.  Moderates are the swing voters and that team is far from moderate. 


    And, whether it is a potted plant, a puppy or a baby, I can evict it from my uterus, since my uterus is MINE.  Not yours.  Not the plant’s. Not the baby’s.

  • concerned-feminist

    Jim is looking for attention & nothing more. He is a sad, lonely, bitter man who feels the need to blame women for the fact he’s too much of a dick to do something productive with his life. I am happy to report bitter, sexist pricks like Jim & Perry, in the majority of average citizens, are quickly dying out,  but his unjustified ramblings here & the subject of this article in & of itself shows that  there is still work to be done. No longer are people like this in the majority, but those who are still clinging to thier seriously misplaced sense of self-righteousness tend to have more power politically & personally than is acceptable.

  • concerned-feminist

    What? No mother-draining?

  • concerned-feminist

    I’m assuming when American soldiers drop bombs on hospitals & schools in the Middle East, “There’s a baby in there” is the last thing on his mind.

  • concerned-feminist

    By the way, I appologise to you Jim, if me & the other women here knowing how to spell & use big words offends you. It must be hard being a man in this age, where women are allowed to read & write & speak without being spoken to. I know the only thing women should be allowed to learn to read is your version of the Bible & cookbooks. & the only thing they should be allowed to speak about is how wonderful thier “Masters” are & how much they agree with everything he does, says or believes & only when told to do so by thier “Masters”. Thier job is to stand there & look pretty/sexy while they pop out babies & do dirty housework all day.

  • ack

    It could be Chuck Norris, for all it matters. If it’s in a woman’s uterus, and she doesn’t want it there, it’s coming out.


    Chuck Norris would form his own womb, subtly alter his DNA so he doesn’t infringe on the bodily autonomy of the people who may have otherwise been his parents, and gestate in 24 hours.


    That said, he has some creepy ideas about… well, a lot of stuff. But he did do an episode about rape on Walker once where he said, with a lot of authority due to his hat, that the rape wasn’t her fault. I saw the last five minutes, where he said that and then the woman went to a Christian support group. So at least he gets a little bit of it right when it’s scripted? (But I also bet she was sober and attacked by a stranger on her way home from class or possibly from building an orphanage.)




  • ack

    give unborn children the rights they deserve.

    Here’s the catch: if we give zygotes, blastocysts, embryos, and fetuses the same rights that people have, they STILL wouldn’t have the right to use anyone’s body against the will of the person. If my kidney failed, and my mother was a match, I wouldn’t get to go and take her kidney. If she shot and killed me while I was trying to steal a body part, both the law and public opinion would be on her side. This happens all the time with property, which doesn’t even approach the sanctity of bodily autonomy.


    On the emotional side: if you really want to learn about infanticide, you should start reading news stories with “child abuse” as the search term. Not the common conflations made by anti-choice groups, but actual, real, turn-your-stomach cases where children were murdered by parents or caretakers. Then think about the fact that 90% of abortions take place before 12 weeks. Then ask: do I honestly feel like the abortion of a 12 week old fetus is the same thing as being beaten to death between a toilet and a bathtub? Do I think that women and girls who obtain abortions deserve the same punishment as the people who put a baby’s legs in scalding water while high on meth, after subjecting her to a literal lifetime, her entire 2 years, of abuse?


    I find the whole “abortion is child murder” either willfully ignorant or woefully misinformed. Possibly both.