At the Texas Tribune Festival this weekend, Texas Governor Rick Perry claimed that if New York City’s outpatient surgical clinics had to operate under the strict laws that would have governed abortion clinics in his state had a judge not struck them down, Joan Rivers might still be alive, MSNBC reports.
Rivers died earlier this month of complications from throat surgery performed at an outpatient surgical clinic instead of a hospital. Many outpatient surgical procedures — such as colonoscopies and endoscopies — are performed routinely and safely outside of hospitals.
Last year, a federal judge struck down Texas House Bill 2 (HB2) because it would have required abortion clinics to meet the same strict building codes as hospitals. Had it not been struck down, HB2 would have led to the closing of at least a dozen of the state’s 19 clinics.
But at TribFest this weekend, Perry lamented the lack of strict regulations around “clinics,” saying that “clearly, the will of the Texas Legislature — which I agree with — that it is a state’s right to put particular types of considerations into place, to put rules and regulations into place, to make a clinic be as safe as a hospital.”
Then, blurring the lines between the regulations on outpatient surgical clinics and the abortion clinics HB2 would have closed, he added, “it was interesting that, when Joan Rivers, and the procedure that she had done where she died, that was a clinic.”
“It’s a curious thought that if they had had that type of regulations in place,” he speculated, “whether or not that individual would be still alive.”
Watch the TribFest’s One-on-One interview with Perry below via YouTube.