Perry Strengthens His Opposition To Abortion

OSCEOLA, Iowa (AP) – Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry on Tuesday said he had strengthened his opposition to abortion and now opposes the procedure even in the case of rape, incest or when the woman’s life would be at risk.

“You’re seeing a transformation,” Perry said while describing his views.

Perry said the change followed a meeting with a woman whose mother was raped and whose story was part of an abortion documentary screened by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. The encounter “started giving some thought to the issue of rape and incest,” Perry said.

Perry’s shift comes just a week ahead of Iowa’s Jan. 3 caucuses that launch the Republican nominating contest. Social conservatives hold great sway here and gave Huckabee an upset win four years ago.

Perry, whose polling has slid in recent months, is working to win over hold-out caucus-goers and cultural conservatives. Time is running short, however, and he is trying to recapture the enthusiasm that greeted his entrance to the race in August only to see his luster fade after campaign fumbles and weak debate performances.

He also faced challenges even getting on primary ballots. Late Tuesday, his campaign announced a lawsuit challenging Virginia’s ballot rules.

Perry — as well as rival Newt Gingrich — came up short of the signatures required to get on the delegate-rich state’s March 6 primary. Only former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Rep. Ron Paul of Texas met the requirement.

“Virginia ballot access rules are among the most onerous and are particularly problematic in a multi-candidate election,” Perry campaign spokesman Ray Sullivan said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

The state requires a total of 10,000 signatures, with 400 from each of its 11 congressional districts.

Despite the potential setback in Virginia, Perry returned to hand-to-hand campaigning, his strength, and is blanketing Iowa airwaves with ads promoting his biography and his record.

Campaigning as a hard-talking outsider, Perry planned to rumble through Iowa on a bus tour, meeting with supporters in coffee shops and diners non-stop ahead of the caucuses. As he ended the day, a pastor in the audience of a town hall-style meeting questioned him about a recent endorsement of a pledge that opposes abortion in all cases.

Perry signed the Personhood USA pledge, which states “abortion and the intentional killing of an innocent human being are always wrong and should be prohibited.” Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania also signed the pledge.

Paul signed the pledge but with a footnote to emphasize his libertarian beliefs.

Previously, Perry said he would allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is at risk. He said he changed that view earlier this month after the Huckabee film screening.

“When the lady who was in it was looking me in the eye and saying, ‘You need to think this through,’ she said, ‘I am the product of a rape’ and she said ‘my life has worth,”‘ Perry said. “It was a powerful moment for me.”

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

  • Yolanda R Nelson

    Really? Really? So Perry want to take us back almost 100 years. That is why we don’t need to elect old people to the presidency, they are our past, why can’t the republicans find some fresh young candidates? Because there are none that are qualified to run…every year the republicans introduce another old, set in his ways, 1930″s candidate. I am not totally against republicans because I think debate and difference of opinion is good but old people need to let the young take over the running of the country that they are to inherit.

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  • Dan Ford

    Rick is toast, doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hades.

  • WeArentAllLikeYou

    I can’t believe he’s still subjecting himself to all the abuse after having surely realized that he’ll never ever ever ever get the nomination, let alone the presidency. I guess he realizes the longer he holds out the more money he’ll be able to make off all those book and lecture tours he’ll headline for a bunch of braindead people that still think he’s worth giving an iota of attention to. What an absolute embarrassment this whole fiasco has been. Now everyone outside our hallowed borders will know just how stupid and clueless the majority of texans are that keep voting his incompetent behind into office term after term..

  • Texan

    Are you sure Texans have repeated the mistake of getting him in office? Where is the proof? It doesn’t exist because they will not provide a paper trail to prove how people voted and my dear computers can easily be programmed to steal elections or anything else.

    Old goats are generally a good choice because wisdom does come with age to many people, yet Perry is not one of them :). As you get older you will realize that you do grow wiser with age from your teens to twentys to on. Yet I never base my votes on the age of a candidate unless they are over 60 since even young they can have a good head on their shoulders. Over 60 since they may die in office they have to have a good VP picked that I would have to also base my vote on. Corruption is the biggest thing not to vote into power, but in this day and age it seems there is no way around it.

    Subject at hand yes abortion should be allowed in these type of cases. The lady’s life did have worth, but not all people are able to handle giving birth to a child they may hate since it was not made out of love and even very young children can get pregnant before their bodies are big enough to handle a birth. Abortion should remain legal for those that choose to do it, yet those who abuse it as a way of birth control need to have laws in place that would put them in jail or forced to become sterilized at their own expense.

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