Gov. Rick Perry (R-Oops) sank to a new low, both intellectually and morally, when he tried to rob Joan Rivers’ grave to pimp his anti-abortion law. During a Q&A session at the Texas Tribune Festival, Perry was asked why he had supported and signed Texas HB2, a measure that forced most abortion care providers in the state to close, and which has now been put on hold by a federal judge. Perry’s response naturally involved the recent death of the 81 year-old comedy legend:
“It was interesting that, when Joan Rivers, and the procedure that she had done where she died, that was a clinic. It’s a curious thought that if they had that type of regulations in place, whether or not that individual would still be alive.”
Yup, “curious” is one way to describe it, and as disgustingly ghoulish as it was, Perry was actually making an important point. Like most of what Governor Oops does, he made that point unwittingly, but he still deserves some credit. The obvious difference between Perry’s bill and Joan Rivers’ death is that Perry’s bill singles out “abortion facilities” for increased standards, while Joan Rivers was having an endoscopy, not an abortion.
There’s a very good reason that Perry’s bill doesn’t cover endoscopy, because if an endoscopy had to be performed under hospital conditions, no one but celebrities would be able to get one. It’s not medically necessary for that procedure to be performed in such a setting. Is Perry really advocating that the government get between a patient and a doctor, and impose expensive regulations on them for no good reason? Well, not if the treatment is for parts that men and ladies have.
Here’s the thing, though: endoscopy, while not a very risky procedure, does carry risk of complications, including death. The mortality rate for that procedure is one on every 12,000, with over 20 million performed each year. Do you know what the mortality rate for abortion procedures is? It must be a lot higher than 1 in 12,000, or this law would be a waste of time, lives, and money.
According to the CDC, there were 825,564 abortions in 2008. the most recent year for which fatality statistics are available, and there were 12 fatalities from legal abortion procedures that year. That’s a mortality rate of 1 in 68,797, or almost six rimes less risky than endoscopy. “Curious,” indeed. Gov. Perry may just have written a pro-abortion rights legal brief for the ages.