Lisa Loving hosts a discussion of the "Spiritual War on the Uterus in Rick Perry’s Texas." She'll speak with journalist Sarah Posner about the religious crusade against abortion in the Lone Star State. Posner details the shift in religious efforts against abortion in Texas, away from a national push led by major evangelicals towards a more local, militant strategy. While abortion hasn't played a central role in the presidential campaign, that, too, is a product of the shift in strategy: anti-choice activists are focused not on overturning Roe v. Wade (although that remains a crucial goal). Instead, they are now fixated on portraying abortion as harmful to women, tying it to an "industry" (i.e., Planned Parenthood) they have targeted with an unrelenting campaign, in an effort to malign not just abortion, but birth control—and to restrict access to both. On these matters, Perry's record as governor speaks for itself. Director of Texas Right to Life Elizabeth Graham told the conservative tabloid Newsmax of Perry, a "staunch advocate": "we have access to both him and his staff and he has been very hands-on."
Sarah Posner, author of God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, is Religion Dispatch’s senior editor and covers politics for the site. Her work has appeared in The American Prospect, The Nation, Salon, The Washington Spectator, the religion blogs at the Washington Post and the Guardian, and other publications.