Perry modifies abortion stance for 'mother's life' exception
December 28th, 2011
09:46 PM ET
6 years ago

Perry modifies abortion stance for 'mother's life' exception

(CNN) - A day after announcing his position on abortion had undergone a "transformation," Texas Gov. Rick Perry clarified that he would make an exception if a mother's life was in danger.

On Tuesday, the Republican presidential candidate told a crowd in Iowa that he had toughened his stance on abortion after viewing a documentary produced by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Perry said he had changed his position to oppose abortion, even in cases of rape or incest.

When he was pressed about the change Wednesday, Perry said his he would allow for abortion when a woman's life was at risk. He said such cases were the only ones in which he thought abortions were acceptable.

Perry recently signed the Personhood USA pledge to advance legislation protecting human beings "as persons at every stage of development."

The pledge doesn't say precisely whether abortions should be permitted if a woman's life is in danger, stating only: "I recognize that in cases where a mother's life is at risk, every effort should be made to save the baby's life as well."

Perry said again Wednesday that his transformation on abortion came after watching the Huckabee film, "A Gift of Life," and after a conversation with Rebecca Kiessling, who is known among abortion opponents for speaking about her life story, which begins with her conception as a result of rape.

"I really thought about this through the Christmas holidays," Perry said. "That's the conclusion I came to after (Kiessling) looked me in the eyes and said, 'Why would my life not be worth saving?' And I didn't have an answer."

Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Rick Perry
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    He can't remember what he thinks - because he CAN'T THINK. THERE'S NOTHING TO THINK WITH.

    Go back where those beer-drinking hicks love you. And Stay there.

    December 28, 2011 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  2. jonathan

    sounds like Perry can't make up his mind.

    December 28, 2011 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  3. vic , nashville ,tn

    Throwing what ever they can just to win election

    December 28, 2011 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  4. Republicans are just a bunch of liers

    Are you friggin kidding me??? You neanderthals and your pledges are the reason you will never be president..You jackholes talk about less government, and the first thing you espouse is abortion...Stay out of my uterus you holier than thou piece of excrement. That will be the reason none of you will get elected...and those that do...Shame on you!!!!!

    December 28, 2011 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  5. dagoberto


    December 28, 2011 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  6. Terry Gloege

    What a shocker!!!!! This loser would say or do anything to feather his nest.

    December 28, 2011 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  7. Mark

    FLIP FLOP, FLIP FLOP.. Another "transformation" In two days.
    Can you imagine if this guy was POTUS working on an issue say in the middle east and he took a stand, and somebody
    pointed out another point of view and he did this? This "man" is not qualified to lead the girl scouts (punt intended).
    The "grand old party" is pretty weak this go round.

    December 28, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  8. joe800

    ..."Mr Perry then added that he was 100% supportive of a women's right to ask her owners – clarification: husband, boyfriend, rapist...whether or not she is permitted to color her hair, correct her vision with glasses or contact lenses, learn to read or speak when not spoken to...saying. "i believe whatever karl rove or richard scaife tel me...."

    December 28, 2011 10:18 pm at 10:18 pm |
  9. nintex

    Next thing you know, he'll be for abortions for everyone, free and unlimited. Just give him a few more days to think it over.

    December 28, 2011 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  10. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    He's not able to keep to a position. How do you think he'd do as a candidate for president? He'd fall a part in any debate with Obama. Besides, he seems to be as smart as George W. Bush which is really not good for the country. I also feel that Perry doesn't fully understand the role Congress and wants a greater executive branch.

    December 28, 2011 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  11. Shelby

    FLIP FLOP pandering perry. That's all folks.

    December 28, 2011 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  12. skarphace

    Come on. Let's tell the truth here.

    "Perry modifies abortion stance for votes" is what the headline should say.

    December 28, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  13. ..a laurel and hardy handshake..

    Not a thing, Stanley, very perceptive.
    Also, not a thing, my good man, NOT A THING !

    December 28, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  14. Pete

    Disgraceful. Politics at its worst.

    December 28, 2011 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  15. Donkey Party

    Ok, then would Perry think a woman's life were "at risk" if she was thinking of taking her own life due to the anguish and disgust of getting pregnant from rape or incest???

    December 28, 2011 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  16. enuff

    A child conceived from rape – it is not their fault of the child or the mother. as a mother, i would give up my life for my child. i do not need a politician to tell me what i need to do for my children or myself. Perry- to me, you are the weakest link.

    December 28, 2011 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  17. enuff

    I don't have to sign a pledge to know what is right. I wish these politicians would quit that garbage and go with what they know.

    December 28, 2011 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  18. RINO Bil

    Changing his stance again?

    Rick Perry is like a fish in one of those polluted Texas lakes, just flopping around like crazy with no where to go.

    Do us a favor Rick ... go home and be constructive for a change. Be a man and stand up to big oil and maybe they'll take their hand out of your dark place.

    December 28, 2011 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  19. Joe Rioux

    Getting a little desperate, Mr. Perry? Shameless pandering to the extreme right. It's clear your time is up; not even forcing women to bear the child of their rapists will save your candidacy.

    December 28, 2011 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  20. george of the jungle

    hey thats really big of him to make an aception. Lets see yesterday i changed my stand oops to much flack so today i will change it again.Kind of how all the repo candidates seem to be running this campaign. If this doesn;t work we make up something else. Vote Obama and save all the drama

    December 28, 2011 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  21. Jeff

    How would Perry react if one of his immediate family was raped and became pregnant? Will Perry and others who are of the same mind adopt, support and/or care for those babies that are born due to rape or incest? What will he say to the family members of a woman who died because she could not have an abortion to save her life?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    December 28, 2011 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  22. John

    Can we just solve the unwanted pregnancy problem? Then the abortion issue becomes moot.

    December 28, 2011 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  23. grady

    Vacillate: vac-i-llate – verb: Alternate or waver between different opinions or actions; be indecisive.
    Vacillator – one who wavers between different opinions, actions and appears indecisive...
    this is Rick Perry, Governor – Republic of Texas, in a nutshell...

    December 29, 2011 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  24. tcaros

    Perry has decided that women can have abortions if their health is in jeopardy.
    Also, he announced that he will reconsider death row sentences if the person is innocent. No guarantees, but he will consider.

    December 29, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  25. steve harnack

    That is just disgusting! He would actually sentence a rape VICTIM to 9 months of carrying her rapist's child until birth? I suppose that she would also need her rapist's consent to put the child up for adoption? Or maybe the rapist and his wife could get that baby that they always wanted?

    December 29, 2011 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
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