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Rick Perry: Legislature Will Work Out Punishment for Women Seeking Later Abortions Under Proposed Ban

Texas Governor Rick Perry

Texas’ Gov. Rick Perry has thrown his support behind a potential 20-week abortion ban in the state, but his office told RH Reality Check that he’ll leave it up to legislators to determine the appropriate punishment for women who get later-term abortions.

After Perry’s appearance at a Houston crisis pregnancy center last week, RH Reality Check asked his office whether he supported any exceptions to the yet-to-be-proposed law, such as for cases of rape, incest, or the life of the pregnant person. His office’s answer: “those details will be worked out by the Legislature.”

We also wondered: what does Gov. Perry imagine the punishment should be for women who seek abortions after 20 weeks, were Texas to ban such procedures?

His office responded not with the usual anti-choice dithering about punishing doctors instead of abortion-seekers, but with a clear admission that punishment for these women is in order: “That will also be decided by the Legislature.”

What, indeed, might be the appropriate punishment for the southeast Texas single mother of seven children who sought an abortion at 21 weeks? Or the San Antonio woman, 20 weeks pregnant, who’s trying to leave an abusive relationship? Or the college junior from Oklahoma who is picking up extra shifts in hopes of paying for her abortion at 21 weeks?

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