If you were awake and following politics last week, you are probably very aware of Texas State Senator Wendy Davis’ now famous filibuster of her state’s new and Draconian anti-abortion law. The law would shutter the overwhelming majority of facilities that provide not just abortions, but several other necessary medical services for low-income women in the state. Davis and her fellow Texas Democrats have been severely outnumbered in the state’s legislature thanks to gerrymandered districts (sound familiar), but they have put up a valiant fight, drawing national attention to their governor’s sycophantic attempts to wrest control of the Texan vagina population back under the watchful eye of the Governor’s Mansion.
Left-wing media has been abuzz this week at the news that Perry’s sister, Milla Perry Jones, is United Surgical Partners International’s Vice-President. Why does it matter that the governor’s sister is the VP at a corporation that represents a ton of doctor-owned facilities? Because that’s who stands to profit the most from all the low-income clinics shutting down in the state.
The story reminds me of the fact that Florida Governor Rick Scott pulled a similar move with his massive failure of a law that required all welfare recipients to get mandatory drug screenings before they got any benefits. The program wound up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars and wielding zero results statistically, but do you know who profited greatly from the program? Solantic, the drug testing company Florida used to test their evil poor people. Oh, Governor Scott just happened to transfer over sixty-two million dollars of his Solantic stock to a trust in his wife’s name just before the company was contracted by the state to conduct the tests.
The best as my Internet research could provide me in terms of details about Ms. Perry Jones’ connection to the bill would put the possibility of her profiting from the implementation of it squarely in the speculation category. It would certainly stand to reason that a company that represents the only kinds of medical facilities that will be legally allowed to perform abortions in Texas would see her company profit as a result of all the new business, but perhaps it’s best to leave that to when it all shakes out. That doesn’t mean that’s not vitally important to this story though.
Let’s just suppose, for the sake of argument, that Governor Perry had no idea that the company his sister is a chief lobbyist for would stand to profit quite nicely from his new anti-abortion law. That still doesn’t change the fact that what Perry and his fellow Texas Republicans are trying to do is nullify the Supreme Court’s Roe V. Wade ruling that has kept the abortion debate at bay for forty years. There’s been a new push to cast doubt on the wisdom of the court in ruling on abortion at all, that we should have left it to the states to willingly hand control of their vagina back to the women of this country, but as Texas is showing that moment would probably never have come. The court had to step in because women were dying in back alley abortion clinics while we wrestled with the metaphysical and biological implications of abortion.
Perhaps the governor’s sister will indeed see a big, fat spike in her take home pay as a result of all the new business her clients are getting. It’s really not that far a leap of logic to assume that Perry had at least some knowledge of how this would impact his sister’s business, but even if we pretend that the sky isn’t blue for a moment and give them both the benefit of the doubt, the law in question doesn’t become any more constitutional. It’s still an attempt by the State of Texas to regulate something they have no business regulating, and it’s still the State of Texas trying to re-litigate the issue in a very undemocratic way.
Does it really matter if Perry’s sister is going to profit when you consider how Texas Republicans had to behave just to get a vote in on the bill? They had to hold special sessions because the bill was so extreme they knew even in Red Texas it would catch hell. Republicans in the state have tried at every turn to push the voice of the people out, going so far as to resort to calling the citizens of their state who hooted, hollered, screamed and changed in the senate chambers last night as an unruly “mob.” They have had no respect for the other side and have tried to avoid democratic process every chance along the way.
Don’t get me wrong, if there was some kind of collusion, if there is indeed a real connection between Perry, his sister, the group she runs and the anti-abortion law it’s disgusting. It’s one more example of a Republican trading his principles for the worship of the almighty dollar, but it’s not the whole story. It’s just one interesting sideshow in this circus of misogyny, and Gov. Rick Perry is the ringleader.
The clowns are always fun to watch though, right?