On Abortion, Rick Perry Isn't Conservative About Expressing His (Many, Many) Feelings On The Matter

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry announce his 2016 presidential campaign on Thursday, and he'll have a tough road silencing critics from his last White House run. When it comes to the issue of abortion, Rick Perry supports abortion only in the cases of rape, incest, endangerment of the mother's health, according to non-profit, non-partisan organization On The Issues. So when it comes to Perry's stance on abortion, he is without a doubt pro-life. In addition to his stance, as governor he has supported numerous pieces of legislation in Texas that have made getting an abortion harder in the state.

In May 2011, Perry signed a controversial law that forced women to get a sonogram (an ultrasound exam that creates a picture of the fetus) before getting an abortion. Not only do they have to get a sonogram, but the doctor is mandated by law to orally provide a detailed description of the fetus including its developing body parts and internal organs. The law says the doctor must:

In a manner understandable to a layperson, a verbal explanation of the results of the sonogram images, including a medical description of the dimensions of the embryo or fetus, the presence of cardiac activity, and the presence of external members and internal organs.
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CNN also reported that Perry’s secretary announced:

Governor Perry was pleased to sign this important legislation, which bolsters our efforts to protect life by ensuring Texans are fully informed when considering such an important decision.

In his 2011 Texas State of Address, Perry defended the bill, which obviously did not go over well with pro-life supporters because it would made it more difficult for pregnant women to get an abortion. And for some, the process would be even more emotionally painful.

We need to protect the unborn by fast-tracking the sonogram bill, so that women are fully, medically informed before they make the life-changing decision to terminate a pregnancy.
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Perry also passed stricter standards for abortion clinics throughout Texas in 2014. NPR reported the standards forced clinics to be, what Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, called "mini-hospitals." Busby told NPR:

They have to have hallway widths a certain length, and a janitor's closet, male and female locker rooms, which is completely unnecessary — and a bunch of other regulations that are really not appropriate or do anything to increase the safety of one of the safest procedures in the country.

The Huffington Post reported that 13 abortion clinics closed “overnight." After those closures, Texas had just seven clinics left that were all in wealthy, urban areas. Perry made it harder for all Texans to get an abortion, but especially the poorest ones.

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