Email, Rich Parsons, deputy director of communications, Gov. Rick Perry, July 10, 2013

1:17 pm

Gardner,

 

Fabricating a context in which to quote the governor would seem contrary to the spirit of Politfact. The quote in question as sent to Josh does not say anything about "24 weeks," rather it says, "...children who were born prematurely at the same early gestation that our laws allow abortion."  Current law allows abortion up to the third trimester (as defined in health code as not less than 26 weeks).

 

As Josh pointed out to you earlier, and this is important since you deal mainly with context, the point the governor is making is that many babies born prior to the third trimester do survive outside the womb. These children feel pain and deserve a chance at life and the laws of this state need to reflect that.

 

Since you are basing Politifact on your "sense," and you are approaching it with the preconceived notion that "it's unclear and possibly doubtful that more enjoy healthy childhoods," I would suggest you review the study at the following link,  http://ki.se/ki/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=130&a=163534&l=en&newsdep=130. Key points include, "A study published in the scientific periodical JAMA shows that three out of four extremely preterm babies were normally developed or had mild disabilities by the age of 30 months." Additionally, "One important point of inquiry was whether the higher survival rate has been achieved at the cost of increasing numbers of disabled children. The results show that the majority (73 per cent) of the extremely preterm babies had only slight disabilities, if any."

 

Lastly, passing judgment on these babies, based on your personal opinion is demeaning to the value and potential of their lives.

 

We look forward to an accurate and true representation of the governor's remarks and position.

 

Thank You,

Rich

(Responding to)

> From: "Selby, Gardner (CMG-Austin)" <wgselby@statesman.com<mailto:wgselby@statesman.com>>

> Date: July 9, 2013, 5:37:37 PM CDT

> To: Josh Havens

> Subject: Following up

>

> Josh:

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> We have been looking into this claim by Gov. Perry: That a growing number of babies born before 24 weeks of pregnancy survive into healthy childhood, based on his speech in Grapevine.

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> My sense is that more babies survive, but it’s unclear and possibly doubtful that more enjoy healthy childhoods.

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> Let me know if you have anything else to consider?