Texas Governor Declares Pre-Abortion Sonograms “Emergency Legislation”

There’s something just plain off about Governor Rick Perry, poster boy for the party of wars and bullseyes and shooting at animals out of helicopters, appearing at a “Texas Rally for Life” on Saturday at the steps of the Capitol.  Yet there he was, wearing a black sport coat with gray pants, pontificating about stopping women “before one makes the biggest mistake of their life,” as if teasing who gets kicked off the next episode of The Bachelor.

Perry’s always been unafraid to go headstrong into a double-standard, but lately seems to exhibit a blinders-on stubbornness that eerily smacks of our former President Bush.  Call it twitching or smoke and mirrors, either way, Perry’s been using his “emergency legislation” powers to tickle Texas Republican sweet-spots in between book tour stops in Vegas.

Declaring the need for pre-abortion sonograms as “emergency legislation,” however, was a gratuitous use of melodrama and the female body to score political points.  The only problem was: his campaign math didn’t quite add up.  The man who has railed against government mandated healthcare and the “unchecked growth” of government is suddenly, unabashedly, doing just that.

“Over the past ten years we’ve passed laws requiring both parental notification and parental consent ensuring parents are involved in the most serious moment…and today I am pleased to announce I’m designating the sonogram bill an emergency item for the 82nd legislative session.”

It wasn’t long ago that Perry was concerned about the government getting in the middle of a doctor and their patient.  “We must continue to speak with the freedoms guaranteed us by the Constitution of this great country,” Perry said in June at the Republican Party of Texas’s State Convention in Dallas, “as it barges into our doctor’s office.”

The most blindly hypocritical part of the speech came when Rick Perry tried a choked-up Hillary-in-New-Hampshire moment on for size, struggling to come to terms with the fact that since Roe v. Wade, “Fifty million — fifty million — children have lost their chances.”

Lost their chances?  At what, Governor?  To grow up in a state whose schools are at capacity and hemorrhaging teachers, librarians and administration?  To grow up in a state whose Governor turned down $830 million of federal education funding because he was just “fed up?”

The next few years aren’t looking good for Texas children.  One out of every four children in Texas lives in poverty and yet Rick Perry’s working on his book tour.  “There is no such thing as an unwanted child,” Perry said in his speech on Saturday.  And yet that’s exactly what the State of Texas says every time it turns its back on the poor and the less-fortunate.

There’s more than one way to end a child’s chances, Governor.  Maybe you’re the one who need a good look inside yourself.

This post originally appeared at MeanRachel.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Posted January 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    He and the Texas Congress just cut the budget of mental health providers and school across the state! I have no words to express how horrified I am with this. “If you don’t like it, vote for someone else” just does not cut it here.

  2. Posted January 31, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    (Okay, a crash wiped out what I was going to say right before making a post, so I’ll summarize a bit.)

    The “small government” rhetoric by Republicans the last three decades has been a half-truth. They will generally aim for low social support spending, but they are quite happy to legislate morality (particularly mainline Protestant “morality”) and throw people into prisons (Texas has incarcerated somewhere in the ballpark of 1% of its population, not that the ~0.8% national average is so much better). Regardless of what you think of their politics (and I personally don’t think much of them), this particular phrase is simply not accurate. Mandatory pre-abortion sonograms are just passive-aggressive pot shot at anyone seeking an abortion, context be damned.

    We in Texas aren’t thrilled with Perry. Republicans have an advantage of 18 points over Democrats relative to the national average, but Perry has only won his last two elections by 9% and 13% respectively (with 13% coming in a bad year for Democrats). Part of this is due to more personal shenanigans (like his executive order regarding HPV and his financial connections to Merck, the only manufacturer of a HPV vaccine… and his meddling to ensure the execution of Cameron Todd Willingham, who was most likely an innocent man), but I think the median Texas voter (to say nothing of the average Texan or myself) falls a little to the left of Perry. It’s just that Texas Republicans are a really tough nut to crack.

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