Perry Panders On Abortion

With less than a week to go before the caucuses in the heavily evangelical state of Iowa, Rick Perry has suddenly become even more anti-abortion than he was before:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry revealed a hardening in his stance on abortion Tuesday, telling a crowd in Iowa that he opposed abortions in all cases, including when a woman had been raped or the victim of incest.

Previously, Perry had not opposed the procedure in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother’s life was threatened.

Responding to a question about the change in position, Perry said, “You’re seeing a transformation.”

Perry told the crowd at his campaign stop that the decision came after watching a documentary on abortion produced by former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

“That transformation was after watching the DVD, ‘The Gift of Life,'” Perry said. “And I really started giving some thought about the issue of rape and incest. And some powerful, some powerful stories in that DVD.”

Perry said a woman who appeared in the movie who said she was a product of rape moved him to change his mind about abortion.

“She said, ‘My life has worth.’ It was a powerful moment for me,” Perry said.

Perry’s abortion shift comes a week ahead of the Iowa caucuses, where socially conservative voters have long been a key voting block.

I’m sure that had absolutely nothing to do with.

FILED UNDER: 2012 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. ddennis says:

    That’s not transformation; that’s making a decision based on an emotional response, which the documentary was designed to elicit. Let him watch a documentary portraying a horrific life lived by a mother and her child of rape, on the streets, no food and no education and see what decision he makes then.

    It’s of no import how WE think about the matter; it is the woman’s choice to control her body, and any spiritual/eternal issues are between her and her God.

  2. John Peabody says:

    Cost / benefit analysis can cause transformations.

  3. Hey Norm says:

    Mr. States rights is also suing Virginia based on the 14th Amendment in order to get on the ballot. The hypocrisy of the GOP knows no bounds. Tort reform. Indeed.

  4. Hey Norm says:

    And he is suing in Federal Court

  5. Tsar Nicholas II says:

    That the long-term governor of the nation’s 2nd most populous state has been reduced to this level of political pandering tells you all you’d ever need to know about the dumbing down of our politics.

  6. Tangental to the issue, I’ve always found the “rape or incest” construction an odd one. Since the rape exception would cover both incestual and non-incestual forms of coercion, as well as both forcible and statutory rape, the “or incest” exception can only be seen as referring to pregnancies resulting from consensual adult incest. Which may be squicky, but I don’t see why that would warrant excusal from otherwise legitimate limitations on abortion.

  7. Rob in CT says:

    Hell, I’ve never understood how rape/incest could be considered as a legit carveout for abortion rights if you think abortion = murder of a child. If you think that abortion is murder, why is ok if there was a rape? The fetus didn’t rape anybody…

  8. David says:

    @Rob in CT: Rob, careful, you may make some religious right heads explode.