Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) claims he was complimenting Sen. Wendy Davis (D) when he made comments about her being a teen mom.
In an interview with John Roberts of Fox News, Perry attempted to explain a speech he made about Davis after she defeated an abortion bill in the Texas Senate via a 13-hour filibuster.
“She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself,” Perry told the National Right To Life conference. “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.”
Even Texas House Speaker Joe Straus (R) was shocked by the governor’s line of attack and attempted to distance himself from Perry.
“Disagreements over policy are important and they’re healthy, but when he crosses the line into the personal, then he damages himself and he damages the Republican Party,” Straus said.
“Actually, those comments were meant to be a compliment to her for what she had accomplished in her life, and you think about where she came from, what she’s accomplished,” Perry told John Roberts.
“And as a matter of fact, I would think that she’s very proud of that as well. My point was that saving a life and letting that life come to its fulfillment and all the good things that happened. You never know who’s going to be considered to be an extraordinary individual who’s going to make that real impact and life.”
He went on to claim that the abortion debate is constantly derailed by things that aren’t related to the 20-week abortion ban.
“This is such a volatile issue that people are grasping onto anything that they can criticize and not focusing on what’s really at hand hear. The taking of life after 20 weeks, is what this is about. The killing of babies that are viable outside their mom’s bodies outside 20 weeks, is what this is about.”
But there is something else at stake other than the 20-week ban that Perry failed to mention. The bill Davis filibustered would also created costly new regulations for abortion clinics, leaving all but a handful to continue operating in the state.