Monday marks the beginning of a second special session of the Texas Legislature called by Republican Gov. Rick Perry to get a bill passed that would place extreme restrictions on a woman's right to choose, including new "standards" that would effectively cut the state's abortion clinics from 42 to just 5.
Perry has served as the state's governor for nearly 13 years, the second-longest tenure of any currently-serving governor in the country and the longest in Texas history.
As a young adult that spent my childhood in Texas, I've had the opportunity to observe Rick Perry wax not-so-eloquently about his conservative positions for more than a decade before he suffered a rather embarrassing collapse in the 2012 Republican Primary.
He is also proud of his "strong, Texas values" and in 2011, became one of a handful of politicians with national name recognition to oppose abortion rights for victims of rape and incest.
It should follow that someone as "pro-life" as Perry who has led Texas for so long with a supportive legislature should have created a "sanctity of life" utopia by now, but that's clearly not the case.
1. Texas has the highest percentage of health care-uninsured adults in the country. At 28.8 percent, the state leads next-highest Louisiana by by a margin of nearly 5 percent.
2. Texas' 4.78 million uninsured adults are greater than the total combined populations of Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
3. Several studies have found Texas ranks in the bottom half of states for children's health care. A report released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, last week, ranked Texas 36th, highlighting the nearly 1 million children in the state who don't have health insurance. The same report ranked Texas a dismal 42nd overall for children's well-being.
4. The lack of health care access contributes to the state's infant morality rate, ranked 28th in the country. Perry really cares about fetuses reaching full development, but if you're intent on carrying to full-term, he doesn't seem very concerned for what happens after birth.
5. Perry has overseen the execution of 261 death-row inmates, more than half of the state's total executions since it resumed using capital punishment in 1982. Of these, the guilty verdict of several have been called into doubt, most notably Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in 2004 despite significant skepticism by the Texas Forensic Science Commission, which stated that Willingham's conviction was based on "flawed science".
It really would seem that for all of Rick Perry's mansplaining to State Senator Wendy Davis about her obligations as a mother and emphasizing his love for the "sanctity of life," he only seems to be "pro-life" when it's politically convenient.
And according to at least one poll taken on June 20, before the public outpouring of support for Wendy Davis, 52 percent of registered voters opposed restrictions on abortion in the state.
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