The Republican governor of Texas criticized state Sen. Wendy Davis again Thursday over her attempted 13-hour filibuster that killed an extremely restrictive anti-abortion bill this week, this time denigrating her for not learning “from her own example” of being a teenaged single mother. Davis was married and divorced by the age of 19, when her daughter was born.

“Even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances,” Rick Perry said during a speech at a National Right to Life conference. “She was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.”

Senate Bill 5, the abortion bill that Perry wants to pass, would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, restrict access to the abortion drug RU-486 and would effectively shut down the majority of the state’s clinics that perform the procedure.

According to Think Progress, Perry’s policies are actually less likely to curb unintended teen pregnancies. “After the Texas governor defunded Planned Parenthood and slashed family planning funding, dozens of women’s health clinics in the state were forced to close,” the website reported. “Studies from the state’s health department and the New England Journal of Medicine have both projected that fewer women in Texas now have access to birth control, and more of them will accidentally get pregnant.”

Davis, meantime, took the high road in responding to the governor’s remarks. “Rick Perry’s statement is without dignity and tarnishes the high office he holds,” she said.

Planned Parenthood also reacted to them, calling Perry’s comments “incredibly condescending and insulting to women.”

— Posted by Tracy Bloom.


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