WorldPeace on Abortion
As governor of the state I will need to balance many opposing positions on
many issues. In the case of abortion, it is not possible to simply apply
economics. In the matter of abortion, there is a religious factor that must
be given consideration; that factor being the sanctity of life.
From a purely personal spiritual perspective, I believe that the soul
attaches to the body at conception. Therefore, I believe that an abortion at
any time has spiritual repercussions that are to be worked out between the
mother, father and God. I am not an ordained holy man and so these religious
issues will be outside my mandate as governor.
I feel strongly that people who are not willing to personally take a child
that is about to be aborted into their lives to raise have no right to
arbitrarily determine what is best for the biological parents. It is neither
my mandate as governor nor within the domain of others to impose a punishment
on biological parents in the form of requiring them to birth and raise a
child that neither they nor anyone else wants. As a biological father of
four children, I understand that children are lifetime commitments and
imposing a lifetime commitment on anyone for his or her lack of caution
during a primal sexual act is cruel and unusual punishment not only in
relation to the parents but also with regards to the child.
>From a purely economic perspective, it is cheaper for society to finance an
abortion than to vicariously support a child through welfare programs. For
me, a person cannot be pro-life and anti-welfare. If one is going to insist
that all children that are conceived be born, then one must commit to
supporting those children in the event that the biological parents are unable
to do so. To demand that a person have a child and then refuse to assist
that person economically in raising that child is also cruel and unusual
In addition, I stongly believe that fathers must be held accountable for
children that they create. Therefore, I would reduce welfare benefits by
fifty percent to mothers who refuse to identity the fathers of the children
they bring into this world. I believe that birthing a child is the right of
every free person in this society but there is no right to demand that
society fully support a child when the mother refuses to identify the father.
I believe that men who father children must support those children and if
they refuse they must be incarcerated. This is the law presently and I would
continue to tighten the system so that fewer fathers escape supporting
children they have fathered.
That being said, my position on abortion is first that contraceptives should
be made available to anyone who wants them. I believe that people are going
to have sex no matter what and if the contraceptives are easily available to
people, especially those of low income, then the number of situations where
abortion comes up will be greatly reduced. I do not believe that we should
impose Puritanical restrictions on human nature by trying to reduce the
number of sexual encounters by denying birth control measures to the general
populace and thereby significantly raise the consequenses of casual sex. It
is easier for me to deal will promiscuity than it is to have to insert myself
into the abortion issue.
I believe that the state should provide money for sterilization for any
indigent person who desires it. Economically speaking, the costs associated
with providing contraceptives and sterilization is a fraction of the cost of
raising unwanted children.
I also believe that children in high school should receive sex education
courses which emphasize the serious responsibilities associated with raising
children and which emphasize the lifetime obligations for both the father and
the mother of the child. The courses would also emphasize the legal
ramifications of having children and then attempting to dump them on society
I would require that the parents of children who are pregnant be informed of
the the pregnancy but that the ultimate abortion decision would be made by
the father and the mother of the unborn child.
I believe that father's have rights as well as mothers and I think there
should be some parameters established under which the father could insist
that his child not be aborted assuming that a rape or incest was not the
cause of the pregnancy and the mother's health was not a factor.
In the event that a woman becomes pregnant, I believe that in situations
where rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger due to the
pregnancy or when the child is going to be seriously handicapped, abortion
should be allowed and paid for by the state if the mother is indigent. I
also believe in these situations that the father should be made to reimburse
the state for the cost of the abortion if he is not indigent.
In regards to all abortions, I believe that counseling of some nature,
whether secular or sectarian, should be mandatory prior to the abortion. I
believe that abortions within the first four months (fours months is a
personal abirtrary number based on the fact that a child born at four months
would have great difficulty surviving unassisted) of pregnancy should be up
to the mother and father after counseling with no further restrictions. If
both the parents are indigent, the abortion should be paid for by the state.
After the fourth month, assuming there is no rape, incest or medical factors
or serious handicaps of the child, the state should not contribute anything
toward the abortion. Personally, I am pro-choice for the first four months
of pregnancy and pro-life after the fourth month. In addition, I would
consider any abortion of a viable healthy fetus after the seventh month a
criminal act against the state. After seven months, I believe the fetus to
be a fully formed child that has a good chance of surviving on its own
outside the womb. The law in Texas presently does not recognize a fetus as
having any rights.
As to whether or not abortion would be legal after the fourth month, that
would have to be decided by referendum in which the citizens of Texas would
have to determine if they would allow abortions after that time. The
referendum would state that if the majority of the people voted no to
abortions, a specific amount of money would be allocated to welfare for these
unwanted children who were not aborted.
There is no way to satisfy the religionists who insist that all life is
sacred and that all conceived children should be born. It is not a perfect
world and there are economics and other costs attached to raising unwanted
children. That is the reality of the environment in which the abortion issue
In order to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies, contraception should
be made readily available. In order to reduce the costs of unwanted
children, a period of four months should be allowed for those who desire an
abortion and who are indigent. It should be a criminal act to abort a child
after the seventh month of pregnancy in all cases other than medical problems
affecting the mother.
I believe that as the science of genetics expands that children who will be
seriously handicapped can be aborted up to the seventh month. I cannot
justify terminating any fetus after seven months unless the mother's survival
is in jeopardy.
The time has come to begin a serious debate on the issue of abortion. It is
a volatile and divisive issue but it is one that has and continues to have
significant repercussions on the state as a whole. Because of the sanctity
of life, no abortion is going to be acceptible to staunch religionists. But
the reality of the economics and other costs to society of raising these
children indicates that a no abortion under any circumstances policy is not
realistic or workable.
It will take strong leadership from a spiritual person to navigate through
the emotional waters of the abortion issue. No one but myself has those
leadership skills. No other candidate has a real program for dealing will
the many facets of the abortion issue. No other candidate is willing to
confront this issue head on.
The next governor of Texas
November 26, 2001
Nov. 26, 2001, 12:27AM
Abortion debate on the docket
State Supreme Court ponders indigent aid
By JIM VERTUNO
AUSTIN -- The battle over whether Texans should help pay for "medically
necessary" abortions for poor women goes before the state Supreme Court this
Supporters and a Texas appeals court say women are entitled under the state
constitution. Anti-abortion groups warn the case could open the door for
"abortion on demand" at taxpayer expense.
The case will be presented in oral arguments before the court on Wednesday.
A group of doctors and family planning clinics providing abortions for
Medicaid-eligible women filed a lawsuit in 1998 on behalf of poor women in
Women suffering from heart disease, hypertension, cancer, epilepsy and other
complications run serious health risks when pregnant, the doctors said.
Under current law, even if a doctor recommends an abortion in "medically
necessary" cases, Medicaid won't pay for it. Those women are forced to extend
a risky pregnancy while trying to raise the money themselves, the doctors
The doctors lost at trial but won a favorable ruling from the Third Court of
Appeals in Austin in December 2000. Attorney General John Cornyn's office
appealed that decision to bring it before the Supreme Court.
Federal law prohibits federal Medicaid money from paying for abortions except
in cases of rape, incest or when the mother's life is in danger.
The U.S. Supreme Court has previously ruled that the restrictions on federal
spending for abortion do not violate equal protection under the U.S.
The Texas Supreme Court will decide whether the Texas Constitution allows the
state to draw similar guidelines.
Cornyn's appeal argues the goal of the state's restriction is to encourage
child birth over abortion. To meet that goal, there are limits to paying for
abortions, the appeal said.
According to the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, 11 abortions
were billed to Medicaid in 2000, under the stricter standard of rape, incest
or when the mother's life is in danger.
Gov. Rick Perry is against abortion except in cases of rape, incest or when
the mother's life is in danger and "does not support the use of taxpayer
funds to pay for abortion," said spokeswoman Kathy Walt.