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Rick Perry Would Bring Pro-Life Record to Republican 2012 Race

by Steven Ertelt | Austin, TX | LifeNews.com | 6/10/11 10:29 AM

National, Politics

Governor Rick Perry of Texas is said to be significantly closer to launching a run for the Republican nomination for president to be able to take on pro-abortion President Barack Obama.

Perry had been leaning against launching a bid for the GOP nomination, but suddenly appeared to be springing towards one in the aftermath of several top political staff and aides to Speaker Newt Gingrich deciding to abandon his presidential campaign yesterday. Some of the aides are former Perry staffers or supporters who are said to be returning to Texas to help the governor prepare plans for a presidential campaign.

According to Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller, a conservative publication, “Two separate and reliable sources in Texas tell me serious preparations are being made for Governor Rick Perry, 61, to seek the Republican nomination for president. Dave Carney and Rob Johnson — the former top Perry aides who on Thursday left Newt Gingrich’s floundering campaign — are said to be heading to Texas soon to join in on preparations for the run. I am told this is now “ninety percent likely to occur.” Additionally, Perry allies have begun holding meetings in the state and have been instructed to quietly reach out to contacts in early primary states.”

The entrance of the three-time Texas governor to the Republican presidential race would have another pro-life advocate join the field that is already replete with pro-life candidates. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and businessman Herman Cain have been pressing pro-life themes as have former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and potential presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman.

Perry delighted pro-life advocates this year when he made a bill to allow women to see an ultrasound of their baby before an abortion one of his legislative priorities.

“It’s pretty hard to imagine people of good conscience sitting idly by through this, and in Texas we haven’t,” he said, saying the Supreme Court decision to allow virtually unlimited abortions, Roe v. Wade, is a “tragedy.”

That made it easier for the legislation to move through the legislative process after having been stalled for years, and Perry ultimately signed the pro-life bill into law. When used in pregnancy centers, ultrasounds convince more than 80 percent of women considering an abortion to keep their baby or consider adoption.

“Governor Perry was pleased to sign this important legislation, which bolsters our efforts to protect life by ensuring Texans are fully informed when considering such an important decision,” said Katherine Cesinger, a spokeswoman for the governor.

Days before signing the ultrasound legislation, Governor Perry signed into law the Choose Life license plate bill giving Texas motorists a life-affirming option on their vehicles. Under the legislation, motorists would be able to purchase Choose Life license plates to express their pro-life views and help support programs helping pregnant women.

Perry has not only signed legislation but he has frequently stepped up to the plate to raise funds for pro-life efforts — including supporting Heroic Media, a group that spread the pro-life message via television and radio advertising. During a fundraising event this April, Perry joined in on exposing Obama’s pro-abortion record and focused on him overturning the Mexico City Policy and forcing Americans to pay for funding groups that promote and perform abortions overseas.

“America is in the business of exporting abortion. I’m not happy about that,” Perry said and, saying of unborn children, “Too bad we can’t protect them from the federal government.”

Perry’s record has earned the support and praise from pro-life Texas leaders like Joe Pojman of Texas Alliance for Life, whose group endorsed him in his bid for re-election saying he “has passionately supported laws protecting unborn babies and their mothers.”

“Texas needs a leader who is unrelentingly pro-life,” Pojman said. “Unlike his opponent, Governor Perry has never given an inch to the life-threatening precepts of Roe v. Wade, whether verbally or by his actions as an elected official. He is a loyal advocate for the protection of unborn babies and their mothers, and TAL is eager for him to continue his dedicated and effective leadership of our state.”

Colleen Parro, the former head of the Republican National Coalition for Life, previously told LifeNews.com that Perry has always been on the side of pro-life advocates.

“Governor Perry has been a supporter of pro-life legislation and has signed into law whatever pro-life bills were passed by the Texas legislature,” Parro says.

Perry supported the Woman’s Right to Know Act (2003), the Prenatal Protection Act (2003), the parental consent law (2005), and funding for alternatives to abortions (2005, 2007, 2009). Perry also signed a bill that allows criminals to be prosecuted for killing or injuring unborn children during the course of an assault against a pregnant woman.

“Governor Perry’s signature on these pro-life bills marks history for Texas women, their health, and their unborn children,” Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life told LifeNews.com at the time. Graham said Texas Right to Life worked closely with Perry on the legislation and the bills had his strong support throughout the legislative process. “Governor Perry recognized the deficiency in Texas that the unborn children of pregnant women were not protected under Texas law,” Graham explained.

In addition, Gov. Perry has also strongly endorsed public funding for adult stem cell research. He has opposed embryonic stem cell research, which has developed no treatments or cures and requires the destruction of human embryos.