January 29, 2013 — At a rally at the Texas Capitol on Saturday, Gov. Rick Perry (R) vowed to promote legislation to further restrict abortion during the current legislative session, the San Antonio Express-News reports.
"The ideal world is one without abortion," Perry told abortion-rights opponents attending the Rally for Life, which coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. "Until then, we will continue to pass laws to ensure abortions are as rare as possible under existing law," he added, noting the biblical significance of the number 40, such as the 40 days Jesus spent in the desert.
State Attorney General Greg Abbott (R), Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst (R) and leaders of antiabortion-rights groups also joined the rally.
Specifically, Perry reiterated his support for bills that he said "ensure the safety of women" by requiring that abortion clinics meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers and requiring doctors to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals.
The GOP lawmakers also said they want to expand on current antiabortion laws in Texas, including measures that mandate that a woman obtain an ultrasound before an abortion, require parental consent for minors and cut funding to Planned Parenthood.
Abortion-Rights Advocates Criticize Speech
NARAL Pro-Choice Texas said that Perry and conservative lawmakers should focus on preventive health, education and other services after the state cut funding for family planning services in 2011. The group noted that family planning clinics have been forced to close, while the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood -- which provides health screenings and contraceptives -- has aggravated the situation.
Heather Busby, the group's executive director, said, "The best way to ensure the safety of Texas women who seek abortions is to make that service accessible to them." She added, "Texans do not want to return to the days of women dying from self-induced abortions, pre-Roe v. Wade" (Fikac, San Antonio Express-News, 1/26).