Perry: On second thought, I oppose abortion in cases of rape and incest too

posted at 9:45 pm on December 27, 2011 by Allahpundit

Is it worth debating his motive here? If you’re passionately pro-life, you’ll take him at face value because people do, after all, have sincere changes of heart and it’s nice to have another principled advocate in the fold. If you’re passionately pro-Perry, you’ll say it’s a shrewd move because it might help him get a second look from social conservatives in Iowa who are otherwise leaning towards Bachmann or Santorum. And if you’re anti-Perry, you’ll say this isn’t a Christmas miracle so much as an exceptionally cynical seven-days-before-the-caucuses “miracle.”

Coincidentally, the film that convinced him to change his mind was produced by 2008 Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee.

In what the Texas governor calls a “transformation,” Rick Perry on Tuesday said that he has reversed his acceptance of abortion in some severe circumstances, saying that he now opposes the procedure even in cases of rape and incest.

Perry said the change came after seeing the “Gift of Life” film produced by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. He told an audience of Iowans at Clark Electric Co-op in Osceola that he was moved by the story of a woman who introduced the film during a screening earlier this month in Des Moines.

“She said, ‘I am the product of rape.’ And she said ‘my life has worth,’” Perry said of his exchange with the woman. “It was a powerful moment.”…

[Pastor Joshua] Verwers said after the event that he was initially skeptical of Perry’s flip on the position but that the governor’s answer was “too perfect” and “sincere” to have come from anywhere but Perry’s own heart.

For argument’s sake, I’ll give you three reasons why this might not be pure political expedience at work. One: It wouldn’t be the first time personal testimony on a hot-button issue made a deep impression on Perry. His experience with Heather Burcham clearly touched him too. Two: It seems almost too desperate. Precisely because the timing reeks of expedience, there’s a risk that more social cons will perceive it as pandering and will dismiss him as a phony than will be charmed by his newfound commitment. If he was going to flip on this for reasons of political gain, why not do it several weeks ago instead of in the middle of his final Iowa push? Three, most importantly: How does he gain from it, really? Romney now has a defense against him the next time Perry calls him a flip-flopper and Bachmann and Santorum have a handy talking point for the Iowa base — namely, that they were both in the “no exceptions” camp long before Perry got there. They’re the true “true conservatives”; accept no imitations. Even if Perry does somehow squeak through to the nomination, now he’ll spend a chunk of the general election campaign defending his reversal on this instead of talking about his jobs record. If it’s all a ploy, it seems like it might be more trouble than it’s worth. Exit question: Sincere or just desperate?

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

I’ve always been pro-life, but I used to be one of those persons who would always add the “except in cases of rape and incest.” I can’t put my finger on when it is that I dropped that exception, but I don’t see myself as a flip flopper.

I’m now against abortion except in cases where the mother’s life is in real danger.

El_Terrible on December 27, 2011 at 10:04 PM

‘Real Danger’? Who gets to define that? Abortion is either legal or it isn’t (and for me, it should be legal whenever the woman chooses). If the fetus is so precious, then I guess it takes precedence even over the health of its host, right?

St. Regis Philbin on December 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM

This is too extreme…!!!

The 2010 Colorado Senate Race was to be an easy win for Repubs. Ken Buck lost the CO race because he took this extreme position on abortion.

Even pro-lifers are often appalled. In today’s society, a pro-life candidate MUST allow these essential humane exceptions. If not, you will offend nearly 85% of the population, and lose the election every time. Given the choice, many conservative voters would choose a straight out communist over a candidate who takes this radical view.

Of note, see my blog: I am no liberal, and believe in taking strong stands on abortion and conservative issues. This just won’t fly with most of us.

anotherJoe on December 28, 2011 at 12:49 PM

‘Real Danger’? Who gets to define that? Abortion is either legal or it isn’t (and for me, it should be legal whenever the woman chooses). If the fetus is so precious, then I guess it takes precedence even over the health of its host, right?
St. Regis Philbin on December 28, 2011 at 12:45 PM

What is it with moral relativists always wanting to know “who” defines something, rather than what the definition is?

A real danger is a childbirth that would result in the death of the mother. As for “who” is involved, the determination of that danger can be left to a state-certified doctor.

As for how precious the unborn is, assuming equal rights between both parties, mother and child, in the event that childbirth results in the death of the mother, and clearly abortion results in the death of the child, it doesn’t matter which one is saved. Regardless, someone’s going to die.

Past that, one can consider quality of life issues of both parties, in which case since it’s preferable to have a child with both parents, and since the mother is under no obligation to kill herself, you can then make an argument that abortion is the better outcome.

Stoic Patriot on December 28, 2011 at 1:01 PM

This is too extreme…!!!

The 2010 Colorado Senate Race was to be an easy win for Repubs. Ken Buck lost the CO race because he took this extreme position on abortion.

Even pro-lifers are often appalled. In today’s society, a pro-life candidate MUST allow these essential humane exceptions. If not, you will offend nearly 85% of the population, and lose the election every time. Given the choice, many conservative voters would choose a straight out communist over a candidate who takes this radical view.

Of note, see my blog: I am no liberal, and believe in taking strong stands on abortion and conservative issues. This just won’t fly with most of us.

anotherJoe on December 28, 2011 at 12:49 PM

First, 20 percent of US citizens from the last Gallup survey I saw said they don’t support abortion under any circumstances, including the life of the mother, so at most you would offend 80%, not 85%. Likewise, while yes, you want a candidate to win, you also want to persuade. You never end up persuading anyone if you refuse to make a case due to timidity. Finally, I’ve seen plenty of reasons cited on why Ken Buck lost the CO race. Mind providing evidence that it was abortion specifically which did him in?

Stoic Patriot on December 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

If the fetus is so precious, then I guess it takes precedence even over the health of its host, right?

If one accepts the full human rights at conception argument, then even the death of the mother should not be an exception.

It is not okay to kill an innocent to save an innocent.

In other words, once you have already gone off the deep end with the idea an embryo has full human rights at conception, there are no exceptions.

That is Crazy Town, and it will lose every election.

fadetogray on December 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Finally, I’ve seen plenty of reasons cited on why Ken Buck lost the CO race. Mind providing evidence that it was abortion specifically which did him in?

Buck said it himself…

http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2010/11/13/did-abortion-help-stop-the-big-red-wave/

ninjapirate on December 28, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Buck said it himself…

http://hotair.com/headlines/archives/2010/11/13/did-abortion-help-stop-the-big-red-wave/

ninjapirate on December 28, 2011 at 1:12 PM

Fair enough. Dare I ask how Ken Buck defended himself? Or if he defended himself?

The key to pick up from such a defeat isn’t to give in, but to improve one’s tactics.

Stoic Patriot on December 28, 2011 at 1:19 PM

It is not okay to kill an innocent to save an innocent.

Oh, incidentally, in that comment I obviously left out my argument earlier in this thread about the immorality of forcing a raped woman to nurture the fetus with her body. I have never found a supporter of full human rights at conception who understands the argument.

It is no real surprise they cannot understand the argument, since, after all, they are already completely off their rockers.

In a fire where you only have time to save one or the other, do you save the six month old baby, or do you save the petri dish with five embryos?

Sane people know the answer.

fadetogray on December 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM

I’ve seen plenty of reasons cited on why Ken Buck lost the CO race. Mind providing evidence that it was abortion specifically which did him in?

Stoic Patriot on December 28, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Ken Buck of CO had a ‘Dukakis moment’ (death penalty) where he failed to persuade. Yes, conceivably he could of softened the harsh extremism of his position, but inexplicably he didn’t even try. On ‘Meet the Press’ he was asked about whether he would allow these humane exceptions. He said “no.” That is all!

Buck was attacked on many fronts. But, as a solid conservative myself, that was the only moment which gave ME pause. At that point I knew Buck was going down.

anotherJoe on December 28, 2011 at 1:32 PM

If one accepts the full human rights at conception argument, then even the death of the mother should not be an exception.

It is not okay to kill an innocent to save an innocent.
fadetogray on December 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

What? So, if two people are trapped in the wreckage of a car, and in order to save one, the other will die, you must do nothing and leave them trapped in there to die?

A kid is kidnapped and forced to wear a suicide vest. Is it wrong to shoot him before he can reach his target since he is an innocent victim?

Or is there a massive gaping hole in your logic?

makattak on December 28, 2011 at 1:34 PM

If your mother told you today that you were conceived in rape or incest, and that she wishes she had aborted you, would you kill yourself to please her?

In 2000, Dr. David Reardon, author of “Victims and Victors,” surveyed 192 women who had become pregnant through rape or incest. More than 90 percent of the ones who had aborted their babies said that they would discourage other victims from doing so. Ninety-four percent (94%) of the rape victims and 100 % of the incest victims told Reardon that abortion was NOT a good option for women in their situations.

Reardon found out that in virtually every case of pregnancy after incest, the abortion was not the mother’s choice; in some cases, it was done over her strong objections. Adults, often the incestuous fathers themselves, demanded that the babies be aborted — because abortion hides the evidence of the crime of incest. Abortion all but guarantees that the abuse will continue.
Killing the baby doesn’t help the young mother, but letting the baby live may help reclaim her self-esteem. The victim may sense that if she can get through the pregnancy, Reardon found, she will have conquered the rape.

A young Kentucky woman who became pregnant through date-rape a few years ago has said, “I’ve been raped, but I’ve also been blessed with a beautiful baby girl. And in the end, I’ve gained more than I’ve lost.”

Julie Makimaa, whose mother conceived her during rape, said in “Aborted Women: Silent No More,” “One of the truly perverse things that the pro-abortion movement has done is convince so many people that the child conceived in rape can never had a worthwhile life. [That movement] constantly depicts children of rape and incest as somehow defective, tainted, unwanted…[but] we should understand, as my birth mother did, that EACH child is a God-made miracle.”

Some say that it’s wrong to ask a woman who conceives through rape or incest to bear a child she doesn’t want, but it is a greater injustice to kill her baby. Doing violence to the baby won’t undo the violence done to the mother. And many couples are eager to adopt “unwanted” babies.

So, how would you react if your mother told you that YOU were conceived through rape or incest?

Would you say, “I should have been killed — my life is worthless”?
Or would you say, “Thanks, Mom, for giving me a chance — thanks for letting me live”?

KyMouse on December 28, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Or is there a massive gaping hole in your logic?

Obviously if the fetus is going to die no matter what you do, then you save what you can. That is a general principle that has nothing to do with it being abortion, as one can see by your examples.

fadetogray on December 28, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Some say that it’s wrong to ask a woman who conceives through rape or incest to bear a child she doesn’t want, but it is a greater injustice to kill her baby.

If you’re talking about the law, it’s not “some”, it is at least 85%+…

The inability for pro-lifers to think 80/20(it’s just an expression, google it) and segment between church/state with regard to rape and abortion will be the poison that brings the whole pro-life movement down.

It’s good to encourage a woman to carry to term a baby conceived via rape… it is absolutely barbaric to legally force her to.

ninjapirate on December 28, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Rape, incest, forced pregnancy, duties of the biological paternal sperm donor, false allegations – all of these are not the starting points on the abortion debate.

The true starting point is that abortion is first degree murder now being paid for by the government with the taxes of citizens opposed to murder.

Once it is established that abortion is first degree murder, which it is, then we can discuss when it should be allowed, just as killing is allowed in war and self-defense.

Perry, who I really don’t like, should be given credit here for saying that he is opposed to first degree murder of innocent children in all circumstances. An honorable and moral position.

Horace on December 28, 2011 at 4:46 AM

Well put.

Threshing Flora on December 28, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Oh, incidentally, in that comment I obviously left out my argument earlier in this thread about the immorality of forcing a raped woman to nurture the fetus with her body. I have never found a supporter of full human rights at conception who understands the argument.
fadetogray on December 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM

I think the question of whether a rapist should have more say than the girl about her choice is a problematic one. i.e. offering up the concept that he can force himself permanently into girls lives in the most personal way, against the victims will, is a tough sell.

whatcat on December 28, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Ken Buck of CO had a ‘Dukakis moment’ (death penalty) where he failed to persuade. Yes, conceivably he could of softened the harsh extremism of his position, but inexplicably he didn’t even try. On ‘Meet the Press’ he was asked about whether he would allow these humane exceptions. He said “no.” That is all!

Buck was attacked on many fronts. But, as a solid conservative myself, that was the only moment which gave ME pause. At that point I knew Buck was going down.

anotherJoe on December 28, 2011 at 1:32 PM

If all he said was “No” when asked if he would allow for exceptions, then it sounds like we need to do a better job getting our candidates to explain their positions and lay out their reasoning. I’d trust almost any of the pro-lifers here to do a more competent job than just say “No.”

Stoic Patriot on December 28, 2011 at 2:15 PM

I’d trust almost any of the pro-lifers here to do a more competent job than just say “No.”

Stoic Patriot on December 28, 2011 at 2:15 PM

People often fail to understand that to be successful a politician must govern from the center. It is not optional. It is not a betrayal of your principles to do so. Elected officials are not elected to cram their ideas down our throats whether or not we find those ideas intolerable.

Ronald Reagan understood that. He lead to the right, but he governed at the center. He stayed grounded. He did not try to make law the People were not ready to support. He understood that if he thought a new law would be a good thing, but the People did not, then he would have to bring the center to him before trying to pass the law.

The People understood that about him when they elected him President. He would not govern as a right winger. They knew that was so because he had not governed California as a right winger.

The only reason Obama is in any trouble at all is because he has crammed things down our throats that we do not want. He and the Democrats have been ruling, not governing.

Americans do not want a ruler, and they don’t want politicians who sound like they want to rule them. They want politicians who will govern well from the center, and who will lead them.

It seems Buck did not understand that. If he was going to say how he felt about the law, but he understood it was an unpopular position, then he had to make clear when he stated his unpopular position that he would not push the law unless the People could be convinced it was the right thing to do.

fadetogray on December 28, 2011 at 2:47 PM

I wish the survivors of abortion would sue the federal government for not protecting their right to life as stated in the constitution.

tinkerthinker on December 28, 2011 at 3:05 PM

fadetogray on December 28, 2011 at 1:11 PM

I hope there are enough of us to win the next election. Agreed, once people go down the crazy town road, the become nearly unelectable.
This is really part and parcel of an anti-sex agenda, that’s where the ‘begins at conception’ meme is all about.

St. Regis Philbin on December 28, 2011 at 3:37 PM

People often fail to understand that to be successful a politician must govern from the center. It is not optional. It is not a betrayal of your principles to do so. Elected officials are not elected to cram their ideas down our throats whether or not we find those ideas intolerable.

Ronald Reagan understood that. He lead to the right, but he governed at the center. He stayed grounded. He did not try to make law the People were not ready to support. He understood that if he thought a new law would be a good thing, but the People did not, then he would have to bring the center to him before trying to pass the law.

The People understood that about him when they elected him President. He would not govern as a right winger. They knew that was so because he had not governed California as a right winger.

The only reason Obama is in any trouble at all is because he has crammed things down our throats that we do not want. He and the Democrats have been ruling, not governing.

Americans do not want a ruler, and they don’t want politicians who sound like they want to rule them. They want politicians who will govern well from the center, and who will lead them.

It seems Buck did not understand that. If he was going to say how he felt about the law, but he understood it was an unpopular position, then he had to make clear when he stated his unpopular position that he would not push the law unless the People could be convinced it was the right thing to do.

fadetogray on December 28, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Unless the culture that countenances millions of abortions changes, eugenic abortions will come in any case. What exactly do you think can be done in the next “5-10 years”, as you forsee, to forestall eugenic abortions?

makattak on December 28, 2011 at 12:27 PM

I bolded the important part for you.

makattak on December 28, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Pro-life in all instances is an easy to understand principle. There is no reason to insult those who adhere to it. If one believes that life begins at conception, then all the arguing in the world becomes pointless. Exceptions for abortion are simply murder. If you do not believe that life begins at conception, then abortion is not murder. Incidentally, the science keeps pointing in one clear direction. I would agree that a “no exception” stance is not politically expedient, but it is flawlessly logical.

kpguru on December 28, 2011 at 4:23 PM

I think we should criminalize any harm to eggs or sperm too. After all all you have to do is join them together and you have a human being. You might as well go all the way. Ya think?

/

MaggiePoo on December 28, 2011 at 10:43 AM

What are you, 14? Have you even thought through your position on abortion, or have you allowed someone to tell you the way it should be?

cptacek on December 28, 2011 at 4:35 PM

Perry is getting awfully desperate right about now as it’s likely he’ll come in 5th or 6th place at this point in iowa.

This position on abortion Perry has taken makes him COMPLETELY unelectable in a general election. Even most of the pro-life community pushes for such an exemption.

this plays right into the hands of the pro-abortion forces by making the pro-life position seem like a fringe movement.

BradTank on December 28, 2011 at 4:49 PM

As for how precious the unborn is, assuming equal rights between both parties, mother and child, in the event that childbirth results in the death of the mother, and clearly abortion results in the death of the child, it doesn’t matter which one is saved. Regardless, someone’s going to die.

Since abortion is so frequently phrased in religious terms, I think it important to understand that this doesn’t follow at all. As I understand it, Catholic theology holds that the fetus’ life takes precedence over the mother’s, since she has [presumably] been baptized and the fetus hasn’t. On the other hand, Jewish law holds that the life of the mother takes absolute precedence until the baby’s head emerges from the womb, and actually REQUIRES abortion if necessary to protect the mother’s life.

Given the religious diversity of the United States, it is politically insane for the Republican Party to adopt the extreme position that Gov. Perry has now taken, along with Mr. Santorum and Mrs. Bachmann.

wbcoleman on December 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Perry says no abortion unless there is a good reason and Perry’s good reasons are better than the pregnant girls reasons.

borntoraisehogs on December 28, 2011 at 7:30 PM

As I understand it, Catholic theology holds that the fetus’ life takes precedence over the mother’s, since she has [presumably] been baptized and the fetus hasn’t.
wbcoleman on December 28, 2011 at 7:00 PM

This is wrong.

While the Church opposes all direct abortions, it does not condemn procedures which result, indirectly, in the loss of the unborn child as a “secondary effect.” For example, if a mother is suffering an ectopic pregnancy (a baby is developing in her fallopian tube, not the womb), a doctor may remove the fallopian tube as therapeutic treatment to prevent the mother’s death. The infant will not survive long after this, but the intention of the procedure and its action is to preserve the mother’s life. It is not a direct abortion.

There also occur, very rarely, situations in which, in order to save the mother’s life, the child needs to be delivered early. But this can be done safely with a normal, induced delivery, or a caesarean section.

cptacek on December 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Who refers to mothers with children in their wombs as “hosts?”

The same people who then claim pro-lifers are inhumane.

BKennedy on December 28, 2011 at 10:41 PM

I was anti-abortion with the exception of rape/incest(I still grudgingly support it to save the life of the mother) until recently. That’s when I realized that by putting those ‘exceptions ‘ in I was saying that a child conceived by rape or incest was less worthy of life than other pre-born babies.
They’re not. ALL children are deserving to be born.
I’m glad that Perry has come to the same conclusion.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 29, 2011 at 12:49 AM

Is it possible to be 100% pro-life, even in cases of rape, and yet fully support the death penalty, even if it means there will be a small minority of innocent people convicted?

V-rod on December 29, 2011 at 12:59 AM

V-rod on December 29, 2011 at 12:59 AM

That’s why I refer to myself as anti-abortion. I’m a strong supporter of abortion.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 29, 2011 at 1:07 AM

This is really part and parcel of an anti-sex agenda, that’s where the ‘begins at conception’ meme is all about

Anti-sex? Really-you are equating a discussion about rape and incest to being anti-sex? If you are having consensual sex there is enough birth control that abortion should be unnecessary. With the “sex education” and easy access to birth control in the country-abortion should be very rare indeed.

The whole life ‘begins at conception” meme comes from respected embryologists who I assume you believe also to be anti-sex. The fact is, the science is on the pro-life side. You can argue that it is inhumane to have a woman carry a life after rape and incest, but generally you can’t scientifically say it isn’t a human life.

I think one of the huge problem is that even Republicans have fed into the lie that abortion is an end to a problem. Abortion victimizes even the one having the abortion. We have sold a bill of goods to women; that if you have an abortion it is no different than getting a mole removed. The reality is that it is different that is why the majority of women who have had an abortion seek counseling and some become suicidal. Adding the trauma of recovering from an abortion onto a rape or incest sufferer is inhumane.

melle1228 on December 29, 2011 at 8:29 AM

That’s when I realized that by putting those ‘exceptions ‘ in I was saying that a child conceived by rape or incest was less worthy of life than other pre-born babies.

Maybe that was what you were saying. The rest of us who recognize the need for the exception for rape are saying something quite different.

It is one thing to force a woman to provide for the fetus when she made a decision to engage in the intercourse that led to her pregnancy. In that case a reasonable argument can be made to hold her accountable even if she did not expect the intercourse to result in her pregnancy and even though it will mean nine months of the pain and difficulties and bodily damage pregnancy always causes (to varying degrees, and you have to consider the most extreme cases when you are forcing the woman to continue the pregnancy) in addition to the emotional and social costs.

It is something entirely different to hold that woman accountable to provide for the fetus with her body when she was brutally raped.

It boggles my mind that there are people who cannot see the difference.

fadetogray on December 29, 2011 at 9:26 AM

That’s change that I can believe in. If it sticks, that is. If it does, it was sincere.

Mr. Bultitude on December 29, 2011 at 1:29 PM

Ah…I meant to say pro-death penalty.
And fadetogray; if a woman gets an abortion after rape/incest…she become a victim who is now committing murder.

annoyinglittletwerp on December 29, 2011 at 7:55 PM

And fadetogray; if a woman gets an abortion after rape/incest…she become a victim who is now committing murder.

I understand what your opinion is. You do not care at all that the new life is sucking life from her.

This is not the same as a willing pregnancy. This is not the same as when a woman made the choice to engage in procreative behavior, even if she thought she could avoid getting pregnant.

The raped woman had no choice at all. You just do not care.

I do understand your opinion on this, perhaps better than you do. You are with the rapist on this one.

Good luck with the politics of it.

fadetogray on December 29, 2011 at 10:18 PM

For most of her 100 years, Minka Disbrow tried to find out what became of the precious baby girl she gave up for adoption after being raped as a teen.

She hoped, but never imagined, she’d see her Betty Jane again.

The cruel act of violence bore in Disbrow an enduring love for the child. She kept a black and white photograph of the baby bundled in blankets and tucked inside a basket.

It was the last she saw of the girl – until the phone rang in her California apartment in 2006 with the voice of an Alabama man and a story she could have only dreamed

ITguy on January 3, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3