OSCEOLA, Iowa – Rick Perry admitted to Iowa voters this evening that his views on abortion have undergone a “transformation,” shifting from a stance that allowed for abortion in cases of rape, incest and risk to a mother’s life, to one that opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest, but allows for it if the mother’s life is endangered.
“You’re seeing a transformation,” Perry said in response to a voter’s question about his changed stance at a town hall meeting here. “That transformation was after watching the DVD ‘Gift of Life,’ and I really started giving some … thought about the issue of rape and incest, and some powerful stories in that DVD.”
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee joined forces with conservative non-profit group Citizens United to produce and host the premiere in Des Moines, Iowa, earlier this month of “The Gift of Life,” a new anti-abortion documentary.
Asked if there was a defining moment in the DVD that inspired the change in his position, Perry cited a conversation he had with a woman featured in the movie who was conceived during a rape.
“It was actually before it when the lady who was in the DVD was looking me in the eye and said, ‘You need to really think this through because,’ she said, ‘I am the product of a rape and,’ she said, ‘My life has worth.’ It was a powerful moment,” the Texas governor said to applause at the town hall.
Nearly two weeks ago, Perry signed the Personhood USA pledge, which opposes all forms of abortion. Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum have also signed the pledge.