Perry changes stance to oppose all abortions
December 27th, 2011
08:39 PM ET
6 years ago

Perry changes stance to oppose all abortions

(CNN) - Texas Gov. Rick Perry revealed a hardening in his stance on abortion Tuesday, telling a crowd in Iowa that he opposed abortions in all cases, including when a woman had been raped or the victim of incest.

Previously, Perry had not opposed the procedure in cases of rape or incest, or when the mother’s life was threatened.

Responding to a question about the change in position, Perry said, “You’re seeing a transformation.”

Perry told the crowd at his campaign stop that the decision came after watching a documentary on abortion produced by former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

“That transformation was after watching the DVD, ‘The Gift of Life,’” Perry said. “And I really started giving some thought about the issue of rape and incest. And some powerful, some powerful stories in that DVD.”

Perry said a woman who appeared in the movie who said she was a product of rape moved him to change his mind about abortion.

“She said, ‘My life has worth.’ It was a powerful moment for me,” Perry said.

Perry's abortion shift comes a week ahead of the Iowa caucuses, where socially conservative voters have long been a key voting block. Perry's campaign has made a number of other attempts to appeal to social conservatives, including television ads bemoaning the repeal of the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy and highlighting the candidate's strong Christian faith.

Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Rick Perry
soundoff (74 Responses)
  1. miketofdal

    not accepting comments on this story?

    December 27, 2011 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  2. d

    I cant believe people buy into this stuff...what is he going to say during the general election or even in texas the next time he runs?

    December 27, 2011 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  3. Randy, San Francisco

    GOP/Tea Party presidential candidates like Perry are pandering so much to religious social conservatives that they cannot move towards the center to attract moderates and independents in the general election.

    December 27, 2011 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  4. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    The idea that someone would stop all abortions is foolish. Who knows how necessary they could be to save a woman's life. Perry isn't pro-life. He is pro-birth because he is for the death penalty. We should work to the day were abortion isn't really an issue because they happen so infrequently that people are n't sure as to what they are. Until that day, they should remain legal and safe.

    December 27, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  5. J.V.Hodgson

    When candidates openly use religious belief and faith as means to get " improve thier prospects" of getting elected or voted for; i feel shamed by the voters who ask for confirmation thier specific religious belief has to be law and appalled at candidates who do this kind of perry flip flop.The right to decide on this issue rests primarily with the child bearer, and may be husband and everyone else should "butt out" especially the Law. Repeal Roe vs Wade an replace it with nothing.
    Repealing DADT, does not mean Gays and lesbians etc will cease to exist.
    If we are all born equal we have equal rights to anything.

    December 27, 2011 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    OMG – we're really in trouble now – Woman must submit and truly bow – Down to the almighty far-RIGHT candidates who feel they rule us but will fall – Because they want to take us back to that century when women had NO rights at all!!

    It will NEVER happen today, tomorrow or tonight – It will NEVER happen because Women have Rights!!

    Obama 2012!!

    December 27, 2011 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  7. Republicans are just a bunch of liers

    Well you just lost all hope of ever getting elected to you attack women's rights...sad...what goes on with these rightwing men telling women what they cannot do..thought this was a FREE country.

    December 27, 2011 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  8. Mikey

    Opposing abortion even in cases of rape on incest places one squarely in the "wacko zone". Popular with only religious zealots and the most heartless human beings, and the distrubingly too common combination of the two.

    December 27, 2011 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  9. Peter Zheutlin

    This is the same guy who allowed a Texas man to be executed despite new, expert evidence that the fire he allegedly set which killed his three daughters, was an accidental fire, not arson. The nation's top fire science experts reviewed all the evidence and unanimously concluded, based on the best science, which had advanced considerably since the trial years before, that the fire was not intentionally set. Perry refused a pardon, simply arguing that the defendant was "a bad man." Didn't know we executed people in this country on that basis. Hard to square his so-called reverence for life with his decision to not even delay the execution of Charles Willingham.

    December 27, 2011 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  10. Gunny

    I bet his tune would change quickly if it was his wife or daughter that was raped and impregnated.

    December 27, 2011 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  11. Little Jimmy Truth

    He spoke the truth.

    December 28, 2011 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  12. pn

    I oppose all idiots.

    December 28, 2011 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  13. ThinkAgain

    So if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy (a fertilized egg implants outside the womb), Parry would say she can't have an abortion and must instead risk her life while waiting to miscarry, hoping that when she does, she doesn't die in the process? Even if this woman has three other children at home under the age of 7?

    Parry and his "pro-life" nonsense are the height of hypocrisy!

    December 28, 2011 01:04 am at 1:04 am |
  14. ThinkAgain

    Newsflash, Parry: When a woman/girl becomes pregnant as a result of rape or incest (which is rape by a family member), or her pregnancy puts her in immediate danger of dying, what she chooses to do with her body is NONE OF YOUR FREAKIN' BUSINESS!

    December 28, 2011 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  15. Harold OCana

    When does it stop that men believe it can decide what is right for a woman. Perry has a right to his opinion but it should stop there!!

    December 28, 2011 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  16. Absolutionis

    This absolutist stance on the issue may win him cheap support in the GOP Primaries, but it's only going to repulse independents and liberals in the general elections (If Perry were to get lucky enough to get that far). It's much better to take a wishy-washy stance such as Romney rather than the polarizing stance such as frothy-lube-man, Santorum.

    December 28, 2011 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  17. jess

    Tough topic, both sides present strong arguments. Perry showed flexibility in this 'transformation' but is not a woman and lacking that empathy to exclude everyone from a single DVD is scary.

    December 28, 2011 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  18. Terrence M. Taylor

    Another example of a politician trying to say whatever they can to garner more votes. Sad...and the catch is that it won't work Rick. Your candidacy was toast from the onset.

    December 28, 2011 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  19. Sam J

    In other news the Perry campaign accused Mitt Romney of saying anything to get elected.

    December 28, 2011 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  20. Kenneth P

    I'm sure he has FIVE reasons..

    December 28, 2011 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  21. Mohammad sa'idName

    Abortion should be opposed in all cases cos its deadly.

    December 28, 2011 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
  22. jack cardwell

    Perry will do anything to get elected. Also a flip flop. Also opposing any abortion no matter what the reason. But he don't hesitate on executing poor people who don't have good legal representation. Have you heard of any rich Texans getting executed. God save America from the Republican idiots. In Jesus name I pray.

    December 28, 2011 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  23. steve

    Jethro has gone off the deep end.

    December 28, 2011 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  24. what?!

    has he ever been raped? its fine if he chooses to never have an abortion personally. no man can ever say they know what they would really do if faced with this situation. only women should have a say in this matter. this is another reason he will never make it...

    December 28, 2011 01:46 am at 1:46 am |
  25. wootdude

    Pander much?

    December 28, 2011 01:55 am at 1:55 am |
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