Anita Perry Accidentally Says Abortion ‘Could Be’ a Woman’s Right

On Sautrday in the big, heat-warped skillet of the state that is Texas, Anita Perry said a true thing about abortion possibly being “a women’s right” that she’ll probably regret for the next few days when she has to watch her husband sulk over his morning cornflakes. Either that, or the GOP is the elaborate trolling corps we’ve always believed.

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Speaking to Evan Smith at the 2013 Texas Tribune Festival, Perry said that abortion, an issue that Governor Rick Perry has made the cornerstone of his entire reign as Texas’s most important ten-gallon hat wearer, “could be a women’s right.” Wait, what?? For realz? But, like, Mrs. Perry, doesn’t your husband think abortion is everybody’s business except a woman’s? Isn’t what you’re saying right now sort of a big deal?

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In front of a visibly surprised Smith, Perry tried to elaborate her opinion about why abortion in particular is a uniquely women’s rights issue, saying, “That's really difficult for me, Evan, because I see it as a women's right. If they want to do that, that is their decision; they have to live with that decision.”

Smith then asked the blunt (and exceedingly generous) follow-up everyone else was probably itching to ask: “Mrs. Perry, I want to be sure you didn't just inadvertently make news. Are you saying that you believe abortion is a women's right, to make that choice?"

For a moment, the crowd stood on the brink of a wide, fathomless chasm in their political landscape, listening to the howl of indecision, hypocrisy, and illogic that so often echoes throughout the GOP’s talking points. Anita Perry came to the very edge of basically saying that her husband’s policies are based entirely on a bullshit assumption that a woman’s reproductive system should be policed by a governing regime that cares more about its moral obligation to fetuses than the women who carry them. Then, of course, she pulled back, no doubt reeling from the vertigo: “Yeah, that could be a women's right. Just like it's a man's right if he wants to have some kind of procedure. But I don't agree with it, and that's not my view."

You’ve got to feel a little bad for Anita Perry right now. She’s probably going to get chewed out by her husband’s brain trust, and, at the last minute, she didn’t even have the courage see her statement through.

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[The Texas Tribune], [HuffPo]

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DISCUSSION

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These stories inevitably lead to the fork between Jezebel readers: those who say they are pro-choice and argue that so, apparently is Anita Perry (e.g. "I believe abortion should be a choice between a woman and her doctor, but I'm not nuts about abortions—I'd rather women not have to have them.") and the pro-abortion contingent that argues what the hell is wrong with an abortion?

So I'll toss my hat in the ring: I believe abortions should be available to anyone and everyone who seeks them. I'd rather there was no necessity for them, meaning I'd rather women never found themselves in unwanted pregnancies, however they come about. This viewpoint seems, for reasons I'm not totally clear on, to be "anti-choice" to some Jezzers, so let me put it in another context. I'm glad drugs now exist to treat AIDS, cancer, smallpox. I would still rather people not get these diseases, but if people are exposed to and contract these diseases, I want there to be treatment and no impediments to such.