AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has called a judge’s ruling on the restrictive new abortion law passed last July by the Texas legislature “a threat to men’s rights as keepers of women.”
U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel yesterday assessed two controversial provisions of the law, striking down the requirement that abortion providers have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of their clinics, but upholding the restrictions on a physician’s ability to offer nonsurgical abortions unless the mother’s health or life is at risk.
Yeakel’s decision enables dozens of Texas clinics that would have been forced to close under the original law to stay open.
The Texas attorney general’s office had argued that the law protects women and the life of the fetus, but Gov. Perry said in a statement that the law was also intended to “protect the rights of men who want to keep guard over their childbearing partners.”
“We will continue fighting to implement the laws passed by the duly-elected officials of our state, laws that reflect the will and values of Texans. Yeakel’s decision is a threat to men’s rights as keepers of women and their role as family protectors,” read the statement.
Perry argued that one of the reasons Texas is “losing its grip” on pro-life legislation is that “too much emphasis has been placed on women’s rights” and said abortion should “also be looked at as a men’s rights issue.”
“Every man who has had relations with a woman has a right to protect his family, and that means limiting a physician’s ability to impose abortion on would-be fathers.”
Perry even went so far as to claim that “abortion destroys a man’s ability to be a man,” which “could leave some men to turn to homosexuality, because neither way is he going to be able to have a child.”
The American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood issued a joint statement declaring the decision a “partial victory,” but also admitted that they’re “no longer clear on exactly which laws we’re fighting for and what they mean.”