Rick Perry Adds Abortion, Mandatory Sentencing to Special Session Agenda

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Governor Rick Perry has added abortion regulation and mandatory sentencing for 17-year-olds convicted of capital murder to the state legislature's special session agenda.

"The horrors of the national late-term abortion industry are continuing to come to light, one atrocity at a time," Perry stated in a press release, perhaps referring to Houston doctor Douglas Karpen.

Prior to the regular session, Perry had supported the filing of a bill to ban abortions after 20 weeks, with exceptions for rape or incest. Unfortunately for him, the bill was aborted -- HEY-OH! -- in committee. In fact, no abortion bills made it to term during the regular session.

Perry also said in the press release that Texans "value all life, and we've worked to cultivate a culture that supports the birth of every child, and to hold those who peddle these abortions to standards that would minimize the death, disease and pain they cause." (If there's one thing Hair Balls can't stand, it's abortion-peddlers. If we see one more abortion infomercial -- "the first 30 callers will receive a second abortion, a $600 value, at no extra cost!"-- we're gonna lose our shit.

The Austin-American Statesman reports that four abortion bills have already been filed for the special session, including a bill that "requires abortion facilities to be certified as ambulatory surgical centers."

ACLU of Texas Executive Director Terri Burke stated in a press release, "These bills added by Gov. Perry are so bad the legislature followed its rules and didn't want to even vote on them during the regular session. The rules of a regular session are there to protect us from extremes....None of these antiabortion bills even made it to the floor for debate. The special session is going to cost more than $1 million in taxpayer money. For $1 million, lawmakers should be talking about the primary thing Texans are most concerned about: Educating our children."

In addition to abortion, Perry called for lawmakers to consider a bill that would impose a mandatory life-with-parole sentence for 17-year-old offenders convicted of capital murder. (Such offenders are in a gray spot; as Scott Henson at Grits for Breakfast points out, Texas currently treats 17-year-olds as adults, but the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled they should be sentenced as juveniles, leaving Texas "with no legal punishments on the books for 17-year-olds charged with capital murder.")

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