Perry criticizes Washington on abortion

By JACKIE STONE Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas - Governor Rick Perry used an anti-abortion rally Tuesday to criticize President Barack Obama's administration on the issue, while subtly underlining differences between him and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, his 2010 GOP primary opponent.

At a rally supporting a proposed bill requiring doctors to perform an ultrasound to pregnant women seeking abortions and to give them a printout of the images, Perry congratulated Texas for creating a "culture of life."

"Too bad Washington, D.C., doesn't have those types of laws passed," he said, citing Texas law blocking public funds from being used at clinics that perform abortions.

"When President Obama overturned the Mexico City policy his first week in office, it sent a signal - it sent a signal that the unborn don't matter as much as the opinion of his pro-abortion backers," Perry said.

The "Mexico City policy," banned giving federal money to international groups that perform abortions or provide information about abortions. Obama struck down the policy during his first week in office, saying it was too broad and undermined family planning in developing countries.

Perry on Tuesday said reversing the decision uses taxpayer dollars to fund abortions around the world.

"Think about it. Abortion is now a U.S. foreign export. I'd rather export Texas principles, like our informed consent law, that helps expectant mothers better understand the risks and the consequences of abortion," he said.

Perry also attacked embryonic stem cell research and a January FDA ruling allowing the first clinical trials using embryonic stem cells on people with spinal injuries at Geron Corporation in Minnesota, calling it "another sign of Washington's misplaced priorities."

"I am deeply disturbed that any experiment that uses the tissue of unborn children as raw material, particularly obtained from a life ended prematurely, is going to have a terrible impact upon this state," he said.

"As long as I am governor, of the great state of Texas, I will oppose our taxpayers' dollars from being spent on research that ends human life."

Hutchison campaign manager Rick Wiley said the senator has supported research on embryos that were headed for medical waste but has not supported creating embryos for research.

Hutchison has also said she supports allowing abortion before a fetus is viable.

The rally Tuesday was in support of Senate Bill 182 - the so-called ultrasound bill - and its counterpart in the House.

The bills' authors, Republican Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston and Republican Rep. Frank Corte, Jr. of San Antonio joined Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and other lawmakers at the rally in front of the Capitol.