Playing To A Different Gallery

Don’t know about you, but in watching and writing about the confrontation between state senator Wendy Davis and Gov. Rick Perry over the GOP’s shut-down-the-clinics bill in the Texas legislature, I didn’t realize the National Right To Life Committee was holding its annual meeting in Dallas from June 27-29.

It’s no surprise, then, that Perry made haste to call a second special session of the legislature to make another run at the legislation before appearing at the NLRC clambake. He also followed the script by identifying Davis–once a teenage single mother living in poverty–with “unborn children” rather than with the women whose reproductive options will be sharply curtailed if his legislation is enacted:

It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.

Perry, of course, is faithfully following the mendacious NLRC playbook by combining a late-term abortion ban with “health and safety” measures that will vastly and disproportionately affect the availability of early-term abortions. I haven’t seen a full transcript of his speech in Dallas, so I don’t know if he openly boasted about that particular slight-of-hand. But it is clear now that when the deal went down in Austin late Wednesday night, Rick Perry was playing to a very different gallery.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.