Perry Assails Obama On Abortion In Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Governor Rick Perry, a potential 2012 presidential candidate, accused the Obama administration on Sunday of transforming abortion into a U.S. export and breaking faith with the nation’s founding principles by supporting taxpayer-funded embryonic stem cell research.

The conservative Republican has long been at odds with President Barack Obama’s stand on reproductive rights and stem cell research, but his remarks at an anti-abortion rally amounted to a political introduction to a mostly Hispanic crowd of about 5,000 at a downtown arena.

The governor had dismissed talk that he would seek the GOP nomination next year, but he re-ignited speculation about two weeks ago with an off-the-cuff remark: “I’m going to think about it.” Since then, two of Perry’s former top political advisers fled Newt Gingrich’s troubled presidential campaign, while Perry scheduled trips to Los Angeles, New York and New Orleans that could raise his national profile.

In Los Angeles, Perry never mentioned the presidential election, and he avoided a gaggle of reporters and TV crews seeking interviews. His office said the stop was planned long ago.

“This is not a political event,” said spokesman Mark Miner.

Perry was greeted warmly by the crowd, and left to a standing ovation.

“Every life is precious,” Perry said, as his remarks were repeated by a translator in Spanish. He said the direction of stem cell research under the Obama administration was “turning the remains of unborn children into nothing more than raw material.”

A 1996 law prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars in work that harms an embryo, so private money has been used to cull batches of the cells. Those batches can reproduce in lab dishes indefinitely, and the Obama administration issued rules permitting taxpayer dollars to be used in work on them through the National Institutes of Health.

The administration’s rules expanded the number of stem cell lines created with private money that federally funded scientists could research, up from the 21 that President George W. Bush had allowed to 91 and counting. To qualify, parents who donate the original embryo must be told of other options, such as donating to an infertile woman.

The Obama administration is ignoring “the overriding responsibility of every government — that is to protect citizens at every stage of their lives, especially those who cannot protect themselves,” Perry said.

Perry also faulted Obama for reversing the so-called “Mexico City policy” that banned giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information about abortions. Obama struck down the policy during his first week in office, saying it was too broad and undermined family planning in developing countries.

Under Obama “our federal tax dollars can now be used to fund abortion all over the world. With the stroke of a pen, abortion essentially became a U.S. foreign export,” Perry said.

California Assemblyman Dan Logue, a Republican, has been urging Perry to enter the race and is behind a draft-Perry website. “We like to see him do what he’s doing for Texas for the country,” Logue said.

Several people in the crowd said they were mostly unaware of Perry but were willing to consider his candidacy, especially given his outspoken opposition to abortion.

“I look for any leader who has strong moral fiber,” said Ricardo Brambila, 37, a paper company sales manager from Orange. A Democrat, Brambila said he’s uncomfortable with Obama’s direction on abortion and stem cells.

Jose Rodas, 42, who manufactures signs in Los Angeles, said he knew only that Perry opposed abortion. “He has good principles,” he added.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


One Comment

  1. BT says:

    Is Texas really on his mind?

  2. FedUpTxn says:

    Mr. Perry: Instead of attacking Obama (ho hum), why not START WORKING FOR THE PEOPLE! Look to your own back yard for issues to resolve instead of pointing fingers. Texas is in crisis and under invasion. Mr. Perry is like Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burns!

  3. ilvrw says:

    If every life is precious, then why isn’t Slick Rick trying to improve their education? I guess we should have all the unwanted children so they can pack like sardines into school. Texas is on it’s way to becoming the “dumbest state in America”. We may not have to secede, we may be asked to leave.

  4. NiteNurse says:

    Oh yeah he’s running with those comments.
    Why do politicians worry so much about what science and medicine is doing when they know so little about it?
    They need to worry about security, jobs, and good roads. When you got that handled then worry about the other stuff.

  5. NiteNurse says:

    An aggie cheerleader with a degree in animal husbandry who use to sell phone books is NOT who I want for president.

  6. Dan says:

    Mr. Obama, please tell this idiot to kiss your ass. Anyone who is against stem cell research is completely nuts.

  7. Charlie says:

    My only problem is Mr foolish Perry who does not care about our poeple Mr foolish wants all texans dumb like him. that way he won’t be the only dummy in this state. I hope the poeple wake up to him before it too late.

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