Rick Perry: Abstinence-only education works…wait nope

Texas Governor Rick Perry has catapulted himself into the top of the Republican presidential field for 2012, which is extremely alarming if you’ve ever listened to Rick Perry speak words.

Perry’s ultra conservative views about abstinence-only education are par for the course in the Republican party and Texas in particular, but to hear him explain the reasoning behind them sounds so ridiculous we’re not sure if he knows what abstinence-only education actually means.

At one point Rick Perry visibly squirms, seemingly uncomfortable with the subject matter. The audience audibly laughs at his incomprehensible response about why Texas has such a high rate of unwanted teen pregnancy as evidence that abstinence-only education is not working. He really seems confused as to how that could be, since abstinence has worked so well in his own life.

It’s clips like these that make me pray he’s the GOP nominee who has to debate President Obama next fall.

Perry cannot point to a statistic that shows it’s working, so he starts rambling about how much money Texas spends to test kids for steroids (what?) and therefore abstinence-only education is also a good use of state tax dollars.

(UPDATE: Thanks to Michael B for posting a transcript in the comments!)

Is it just me or does he remind you of President George W. Bush? *shudders*

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  • http://feministing.com/members/sfleach/ Sian

    I can attest to the [redacted] of Texas’s abstinence only sex education. In my 10th grade health class I was sent out of the class for using the word “condom!” Perry’s arguments do not make sense, and I’m hoping that people will start to realize that.

  • http://feministing.com/members/mbricker/ Michael B

    Here’s a quick and dirty transcript. It’s good enough for government work. ;)

    Interviewer: Let me ask you another one here on a different topic, Governor, why does Texas continue with abstinence education programs when they don’t seem to be working, in fact I think we have the third-highest teen pregnancy rate in the country among all states

    Perry: Abstinence… works.

    Interviewer: But we’re the third-highest teen pregnancy, we have the third-highest teen pregnancy rate among all states in the country, the question in point is, it doesn’t seem to be working.

    Perry: It, it, it works, uh maybe it’s the, uh, maybe it’s the way it’s being taught, or the way that it’s being applied out there. But, the fact of the matter is, it is the best form of, uh, to teach our children.

    Interviewer: Can you give me a statistic suggesting it works?

    Perry: And I’m, I’m sorry. I’m, I’m just going to tell you, from my own personal life. Abstinence works. And the point is, if we’re not teaching it, and if we’re not impressing it upon them, then no. but if, if the point is, y’know, we’re gonna go, stand up here and say “listen, y’all go have sex and go have the, uh, whatever is going on and we’ll work with that, and here’s the ways to have safe sex.” I’m sorry, you can call me old-fashioned if you want, but that is not what I’m gonna stand up in front of the people of the state of Texas and say that’s the way, uh, we need to go and forget about abstinence.

    Interviewer: That’s, that’s not what the, I mean with respect governor, that’s not what the question was asking. The question was simply saying; we’re spending money on abstinence education, we’re the third-highest teen pregnancy rate in, in the country. Is there a problem, disconnect, between one and the other?

    Perry: …. I don’t know. But it, it, it gets in line with, um… It gets in line with, other programs that we have, that we spend money on and do they work 100% or do they work 5%? And that’s a bigger and a better issue than “well we have the third-highest teenage pregnancy rate.” Uh… Are we, on the amount of money that we’re spending, are we getting a return on that, that is appropriate? And that’s-

    Interviewer: And, and your belief is that we are?

    Perry: I think that those are some dollars that are well spent. For instance, we’re spending dollars to check kids for steroids, right? And what’d we find? 7? 15? And we spent X numbers of… of, uh… look, I’m not gonna…

    Interviewer: You think that’s a poor expenditure?

    Perry: I’m saying that it- No, I’m trying to make it comparable here. If that’s a good expenditure, then, I would suggest to you the dollars we’re spending on abstinence education’s a good expenditure.

  • sex-toy-james

    The fiscal concerns of Tea Party politicians appear to be a thin foil wrapping around a big religious fundamentalist nut bar.

  • http://feministing.com/members/thirdwavehousewife/ Third Wave Housewife

    My new phrase is definitely going to be “I’m trying to make a comparable here!”

    Geez, he’s SO much like Bush. TERRIFYING.

  • http://feministing.com/members/blueeyes90/ blueeyes90

    The last thing we need is another Texas govenor as president. I knew from the start that I wouldn’t like this guy.