Women across the state of Texas are fighting a battle to keep their reproductive rights. Republicans are trying to force an extreme anti-abortion bill through the state legislature and Rick Perry desperately wants to sign it into law. So desperate, that he has called two special sessions of the legislature in an effort to pass it no matter how much Democrats or the people of Texas oppose it. And now we may know why.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas Governor Rick Perry’s own sister and her company stand to profit if the bill becomes law.
If the bill passes, only five Texas abortion clinics would remain open — those that are already equipped as ambulatory surgical centers, advocates say. But a question remains: would the 420 other ambulatory surgical centers that exist in Texas begin performing the operation? Abortion rights advocates predict that the demand for the procedure won’t disappear with passage of the law.
One company that will be faced with that decision is United Surgical Partners International, based in Addison, TX. Their vice-president of government affairs is Milla Perry Jones, Gov. Rick Perry’s sister. She is also on the board of the Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center Society.
Simply put, Milla Perry Jones sits on the board of the United Surgical Partners Corporation. They currently operate 420 surgical centers in the state. Closing 37 of the 42 clinics in Texas significantly eliminates competition and gives the company the ability to offer and perform abortion procedures at a higher cost. This means low income women will have to pay more to get an abortion and Rick Perry’s sister will profit from it.
Coincidence? Perhaps. After all, the Houston Chronicle does point out that Texas’ legislation is “patterned” after similar legislation in other red states. But the fact that Perry is more desperate than usual to pass an unpopular bill at the risk of being even more unpopular in his own state, and the fact that Perry has a history of nepotism as governor, plus the fact that his sister just so happens to be in a position to profit should the bill become law, should make everyone take a harder look at the situation developing in Texas. A Texas-sized scandal could be right around the corner.