During an appearance at the Texas Tribune Festival on Sunday, Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry tried to use Joan Rivers’ death to defend HB2, the restrictive anti-abortion bill that was passed by the Texas legislature earlier this year, but later struck down by a federal judge. This is the bill that helped push Democratic State Senator Wendy Davis into the national spotlight when she stood on the Senate floor for 11 hours filibustering it. HB2 requires all abortion clinics in the state to meet the standards of ambulatory surgery clinics. This would force all but seven abortion clinics in the state to close. Currently, a federal appeals court is considering a decision after Judge Lee Yeakel ruled against the law in August.
Perry, who is thinking about another presidential run in 2016, decided to bring up the recent death of comedian Joan Rivers to justify the need for Texas to force women to travel hundreds of miles if they need an abortion. In typical Perry fashion, his statement made no sense and only served to remind everyone that Perry is apparently only good for making ‘oops’ style comments.
“Clearly, the will of the Texas Legislature-which I agree with-that it is a state’s right to put particular types of considerations into place, to put rules and regulations into place, to make a clinic be as safe as a hospital. It was interesting that, when Joan Rivers, and the procedure that she had done where she died, that was a clinic. It’s a curious thought that if they had had that type of regulations in place, whether or not that individual would be still alive.”
Below is video of the entire interview with Perry. He makes the comment towards the very end.
First off, using an 81-year-old woman’s death that occurred due to complications from a vocal chord surgery to abortion seems a bit far fetched. Especially when said woman would have, in all likelihood, been very outspoken against the law you are trying to defend. Second off, the clinic where Rivers had her surgery performed IS an ambulatory surgery clinic. Seriously. Yet, that didn’t stop Perry from using the completely unrelated death of an elderly woman to make a case that women should have as hard a time as possible if they want to get an abortion.
Another interesting thing regarding Perry’s statement is his push for more regulations. As always seems the case with conservatives, regulations are bad, unless it allows them to control a woman’s body or install their religious interpretations into state or federal law. Therefore, you have Perry calling for more regulations, but only because he wants to prevent women from having the right to choose when it comes to their own health and bodies.