Appearing at the National Right to Life Convention in Dallas on Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) criticized state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), saying the woman who stopped his favored anti-abortion legislation cold on Tuesday had not learned anything from “her own example” as a teen mom.
“She was the daughter of a single woman,” Perry told the crowd. “She was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate.”
“It’s 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,” he added.
Davis responded with disgust, telling Dallas-based ABC News affiliate WFAA-TV that Perry’s assessment of her experience as a young woman responsible for a child was “without dignity” and “tarnishes the high office he holds.”
“They are small words that reflect a dark and negative point of view,” she reportedly said. “Our governor should reflect our Texas values. Sadly, Gov. Perry fails that test.”
Perry announced Wednesday that he’s called for a second special session of the Texas legislature and placed the sweeping anti-abortion bill that Davis filibustered to death atop the agenda. Republicans will have 30 days to pass the bill, after failing during the regular session and again during the last special session.
If they succeed, all but five of the state’s abortion clinics will be forced to shut down by 2014 and abortion will be banned after 20 weeks of pregnancy, without exception for rape or incest.
In a prepared statement, Cecile Richards, daughter of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards (D) and president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, joined Davis in blasting Perry’s description of the Fort Worth Democrat.
“Rick Perry’s remarks are incredibly condescending and insulting to women,” her statement reads. “This is exactly why the vast majority of Texans believe that politicians shouldn’t be involved in a woman’s personal health care decisions. Women are perfectly capable of deciding whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child, and they don’t need Rick Perry’s help making that decision.”
Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa, who told Raw Story he wants Davis to run for governor, reacted similarly. “Just … Wow,” he wrote in a fundraising email. “This personal attack on Senator Davis is outrageous and disgraces the office the Governor holds. But it’s not out of character for Perry, who constantly shows just how little regard he has for Texan women.”
This video is from YouTube, published Thursday, June 27, 2013, snipped courtesy of Think Progress.
[Photo: Flickr user markn3tel, creative commons licensed.]