Sarah Palin Issues Endorsement for Pro-Life Gov. Rick Perry in Texas Battle

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 3, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Sarah Palin Issues Endorsement for Pro-Life Gov. Rick Perry in Texas Battle

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 3
, 2009

Austin, TX ( — No sooner did former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin start a new political action committee than she has waded into a Texas gubernatorial race. Palin, the Alaska governor, is backing fellow Gov. Rick Perry, who is pro-life, against a challenge from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Last month, Paling started a new political action committee in what may be a move to build relationships leading up to a 2012 presidential run.

In a surprising move, Hutchison, who backs abortion but mostly votes pro-life in the Senate, has decided to take on the incumbent governor.

But Palin, in a mailing to Texas Republican women, called Perry the “true conservative” in the Republican race.

"Rick Perry is true to conservative principles even when others think the party needs to go a different direction. I like that about him: he doesn’t care which way the wind blows, he acts on his beliefs. That’s why I am supporting Governor Rick Perry for re-election," Palin wrote.

Palin wrote that Perry "walks the walk of a true conservative" in part, she says, because he is pro-life.

"Rick Perry believes in protecting the most vulnerable in society, and who is more vulnerable than an unborn child? Our value as human beings in the eyes of Our Creator is not diminished by any circumstance," she wrote in the letter.

The endorsement is important because pro-life advocates could make the difference in the primary race where Perry is seen as the champion and Hutchison is seen weak because she supports Roe v. Wade, the decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions.

Hutchison reaffirmed her pro-abortion position in March 2003 with a vote in favor of an amendment to the partial-birth abortion ban supporting the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that allowed virtually unlimited abortions.

"It is the sense of the Senate that the decision of the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade was appropriate and secures an important constitutional right; and such decision should not be overturned," the amendment read.

Hutchison has also upset pro-life advocates with her repeated votes in favor of embryonic stem cell research funding. That has held down her voting record scores from the National Right to Life Committee in recent years.

While Hutchison has voted for a myriad of abortion limits — everything from banning taxpayer funding of abortions, to enforcing parental notification to prohibiting partial-birth abortions — the stem cell votes dropped her to an 85 percent in this Congress and 75 percent in the previous session.

Hutchison’s views on bioethics played out in a feud with Perry as she called on him to put in place a plan to aggressively pursue state taxpayer funding for embryonic stem cell research.

One state pro-life advocate told at the time that Hutchison also opposed a ban on all forms of human cloning.

"While we appreciate Senator Hutchison’s several pro-life votes in the U.S. Senate, she unfortunately remains in the pro-abortion and pro-cloning camp," Joe Pojman of the Texas Alliance for Life, said.

Perry, on the other hand, has won praise from pro-life advocates for signing measures to reduce abortions.

He is credited with helping reduce abortions and support parents by signing a bill requiring parents’ consent before a minor teen can have an abortion.

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, told 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.

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