Ft. WORTH, Texas — Two days after declaring that abortion “could be a women’s right,” Anita Perry, the wife of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), admitted to having an abortion when she was in college.
Perry came forward about the abortion during an appearance on WBAP’s “Ben Furgson Show” in Ft. Worth. When Ferguson asked Perry if her recent pro-choice comments were merely a political stunt, she threatened to cut the interview short.
Ferguson backed off the question, but asked Perry to explain how she could reconcile her comments with her conservative religious and political beliefs. She admitted that her opinion was “out-of-sync with what my husband and many others believe,” before breaking down and tearfully recounting the time she had an abortion in college.
Perry said that the “painful memories of that mess” cause her to “sympathize with loose women who make mistakes.”
“I remember feeling trapped. I wasn’t supposed to be sexually active, and I certainly wasn’t supposed to have a baby, but I wasn’t supposed to have an abortion either. It was all very confusing, and there was nothing I could do!” Perry admitted through tears.
Perry said that the aborted child—who she refers to internally as Danny—could not have belonged to her husband Gov. Rick Perry, because “the fornication incident” occurred a decade before the two were married.
“I have asked God to forgive me every day, and now I have to ask my husband to forgive me too,” said Perry, who added that she told her husband about the abortion shortly before he signed off on stricter abortion restrictions for Texas last July.
“I think that’s what set him off,” Perry surmised. “He had been talking about that [anti-abortion] bill for so long. We had a fight about it. He doesn’t like it when I have opinions, and I think he became even more determined to crack down on abortion.”
Perry added that she had her abortion “well before” the 20-week maximum imposed by the bill her husband signed into law, which she said is “proof of God’s boundless mercy.”
Gov. Perry could not be reached for comment directly, but a spokesman from the governor’s office said that he was “devastated” by the news.
“Mrs. Perry’s youthful mistake is something that the Perry family had until now chosen to keep within the family, and Governor Perry would like to keep it that way in the future,” said gubernatorial staffer Josh Haven.
Haven added that Mrs. Perry’s admission does not change the governor’s position on abortion. “Governor Perry was adamant that his wife is no exception to his opinion on abortion. Unless she was legitimately raped, there was no excuse for her actions.”