AUSTIN, Texas, January 26, 2010 ( – Texas governor Rick Perry delivered an impassioned defense of the unborn at the state’s annual Rally for Life on January 22. The governor promised a slate of legislative reforms designed to “save lives,” including mandatory ultrasounds showing women their unborn children in the womb before abortions can be performed.

“Nearly 40 years have passed since the tragedy of Roe vs Wade was decided by the United States Supreme Court, and since then, fifty million, fifty million children, have lost their chances,” Perry told the crowd.

“That is a catastrophic number.  That’s twice the population of this entire state. It’s pretty hard to imagine people of good conscience sitting idly by through this, and in Texas we haven’t. We have actively worked against that Roe vs Wade decision.  We have taken great strides in protecting the unborn.”

Perry noted that Texas now requires parental notification and parental consent, and requires that women be given information about fetal development and abortion alternatives before they receive an abortion (see the Texas “Woman’s Right to Know” informational pamphlet here and abortion alternatives resource directory here).

Perry also noted that the state of Texas is “providing funding for adult, not embryonic, cell research and treatments. You see, in Texas, we’re proving that we can conduct top-flight medical research without compromising the values that makes (sic) our nation great.”

Announcing that he is “designating the sonogram bill an emergency item for the 87th legislative session,” the governor explained that “a woman seeking an abortion must be given a sonogram, ensuring that she understands the full impact of her decision, a decision that can scar her physically and otherwise for the rest of her life.”

“When you consider the magnitude of that decision, ensuring someone understands what is truly at stake seems to be a small step, in my opinion. Those of us here that know when someone has all the information, the right choice will be made, the choice of life,” he added.

“You see, emergency legislation allows the legislature to take fast action on this important bill,” Perry continued, “because we know when it comes to saving lives, minutes count, days count.” He also promised that “more legislation” would be introduced soon “to close loopholes in existing laws” and to “add further protection for children” in Texas.

The governor urged the assembled crowd to “to continue voicing your opinions, I urge you to keep standing up for those who can’t stand up for themselves,” because such work is “saving lives.”

“You’re the key to making a difference and to any one of those 81,000 young lives that may end in Texas this year to abortion, you can make all the difference in the world. We can’t afford to give up the good fight, until the day that Roe vs Wade is nothing more than a shameful booknote and footnote in our nation’s history,” he concluded.

Read the full text of the speech here.

See the speech on YouTube here.