Though Rick Perry is soaring in the polls as a GOP presidential candidate, his legacy as Texas governor continues to haunt him, says Amanda Marcotte in the Guardian, especially when it comes to the issue of abortion rights. Earlier this week, a U.S. district judge blocked a "draconian anti-abortion regulation" Perry signed into law in May. The regulation would have required women seeking an abortion to view a sonogram and listen to the fetus's heartbeat while a doctor rattled off a detailed description of the fetus's anatomical development — and then forcibly ponder their decision for an additional 24 hours before an abortion could be performed. The in-dispute regulation, in addition to Perry’s funding cuts to family planning programs, demonstrates his hostility to contraception, abortion rights, women’s health, and sex education. Here, an excerpt:
What's truly alarming about the law is the searing contempt for women's dignity and intelligence baked right into it. Women would be required to go through an uncomfortable, invasive vaginal probe sonogram in order to get the picture and audible heartbeat required. They would then be sent home 24 hours to "think" about the decision, putting the Texas government in the position of a schoolteacher sending women to the corner.
Probing "dirty girls" with vaginal wands and then punishing them as though they were naughty children? This seems like Perry and the Texas legislature have mixed up writing laws with scripting pornography. Unfortunately, for the women of Texas, these ritual humiliations dreamed up by Republican legislators aren't actually sexy fantasies but miserable realities — but for a federal judge remembering that women, too, have constitutional rights.