Gov. Rick Perry Cites Joan Rivers’ Death in Defending Abortion Clinic Law
Speaking to the Texas Tribunal Festival on Sunday, Texas Governor Rick Perry referenced comedian Joan Rivers' death in defending a recently blocked abortion clinic law.
Perry raised the question as to whether Rivers would have died had there been tighter restrictions at the outpatient surgery center in New York where Rivers went into cardiac arrest during a routine procedure earlier this month. New York health officials are still investigating what lead to Rivers' death.
The law that Perry was defending was the recently blocked HB2 that would have closed half of the remaining abortion clinics in the state. Perry signed HB2 into law last year, but just days before it was to take effect this month, a federal judge blocked a portion of the law that would have required abortion clinics to maintain hospital-level standards like air filtration and complete surgical rooms.
In blocking the portions of HB2, Judge Lee Yeakel felt the law was less about improving standards and more about creating an insurmountable obstacle to force the closure of more abortion clinics. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has already vowed to appeal the decision with 5th U.S. Circuit Court in New Orleans, the same court that upheld HB2 once before. If HB2 is upheld in its entirety, the only remaining abortion clinics in the state will be in major cities, none in the western half, and 90% of Texas women within 150 miles of a remaining clinic, with women in El Paso being closest to a clinic in New Mexico.