Rick Perry ‘certain’ he’ll see ‘world without abortion’ as he receives lifetime pro-life award
HOUSTON, TX, September 16, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Texas Governor Rick Perry told a crowd of pro-life activists on Friday that he is “certain” we will one day see “a world without abortion.”
His remarks came as he accepted a lifetime achievement award from Texas Right to Life.
“Too many people in our country can't remember a time when the state didn't sanction abortion, when the state didn't authorize the killing of a child,” he said at the group's annual dinner in Houston.
The retiring governor thanked his allies in the pro-life movement for helping him advance a “culture of life in Texas.” His legacy includes defunding abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood under state family planning programs, creating an entire alternate state women's health program.
He mentioned passing parental notification and consent laws, as well as restrictions requiring abortion providers to meet the same safety standards as other surgical centers – regulations the abortion lobby said may force it to close abortion facilities.
“If the multi-billion-dollar abortion industry feels that cuts too deeply into their profit margins, that's between them and their accountants,” he said.
In another blow to its profit margin, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast recently settled a Medicaid fraud claim with the state of Texas and the federal government for $4.3 million.
However, the most celebrated achievement of the past year came when Perry signed H.B. 2, which prohibits abortion after the 20th week of pregnancy on the grounds of fetal pain, as well as imposing a variety of other more stringent regulations on abortion and abortion clinics.
The debate saw pro-abortion protesters shout down a legislative session at the conclusion of a 13 hour filibuster spearheaded by Wendy Davis.
“We saw pro-abortion forces resort to any means necessary to thwart our efforts to save lives,” said Perry. “Through legislative tricks and downright pandemonium, they attempted to silence our voices, just as they silence the voices of the unborn.”
In response, Governor Perry called a special legislative session, which became the focal point of both sides of the abortion debate. Often pitched battles erupted. On one infamous occasion, as pro-lifers sang “Amazing Grace,” some pro-abortion demonstrators responded by screaming “Hail Satan!”
“With great power and with great dignity, pro-life individuals wearing blue filled the hallways of the Capitol” in Austin, Perry remembered. “When they spoke, they spoke civilly. When they gathered, they gathered peacefully.”
Despite harassment and potential violence, legislators passed the fetal pain bill.
Perry acknowledged the step as a half-way measure. “But until Roe v. Wade is no longer the law of the land, we can't fix everything in the Capitol building,” he said.
Crisis pregnancy centers came in for praise, as Perry hailed “critically-needed life centers,” which “help women who might be in desperate circumstances see that there are options - better options - than stopping the beating heart of their child.”
“Ideally, we won't be marking the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade as anything but a historical footnote,” he said. “Ideally, we'll live in a world without abortion, and, particularly on nights like these, I can see it happening... And I feel certain that it will.”
“It's far too easy to lose faith during dark times, and if we ever did lose faith, we'd lose this fight," he said. “It's as simple as that.”
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Perry, a former Democrat who succeeded George W. Bush as governor, will step down in 2014. He has not yet declared whether he will run for president in 2016 as a Republican.
Texas Right to Life also honored State Senators Glenn Hegar and Rep. Jody Laubenberg, who authored H.B. 2. Sen. Hegar said he was “greatly honored” to receive the award from the “awesome crowd.”
State Attorney General Greg Abbott, the odds-on favorite to win the governor's race next year, spoke as well. The state Democratic Party, which has fallen upon dismal times, hopes Wendy Davis will run against him. Davis has not yet declared her intentions.