A number of lefty bloggers, with an irresponsible assist from the Houston Chronicle, have been attempting to retail the story that Texas governor Rick Perry is involved in a conflict of interest regarding the Texas abortion bill. The bill, in fact, “could be a financial boon for Rick Perry’s sister,” claims Katie McDonough of Salon.
This is nonsense. Perry’s sister, Milla Perry Jones, works for a firm called United Surgical Partners International, which provides services ranging from billing and marketing to operations and radiology, to doctors and hospitals across the country. She also serves on the board of the Texas Ambulatory Surgery Center Society.
The Texas abortion bill would require that abortions be performed in hospitals or ambulatory-surgery centers. Texas has hundreds of them, the great majority of which are not USPI clients. And, more significant, most of USPI’s partners are not in Texas. It is a Texas-based company, but its clients are all over the country.
Many of USPI’s partners in Texas an unlikely to jump into the abortion business: Christus Health, which is a project of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, does not seem to me to be especially likely to start cashing in big time in the abortion game; nor does Austin’s Seton group, another USPI client.
In sum: Perry’s sister works for a firm whose clients are mostly not in Texas, with Texas clients that are not in the abortion business and, in many cases, extraordinarily unlikely ever to get into the abortion business. If abortionists in Texas should feel the need to move their operations to a hospital or ambulatory-surgery center, they have hundreds and hundreds of of them to choose from, most of which have no affiliation with the firm that employs the governor’s sister. The idea that the Texas abortion bill represents a potential “financial boon for Rick Perry’s sister” is insupportable, somewhere between smear and conspiracy theory.
A reminder for my gullible liberal friends who routinely fall for this sort of thing: Don’t vote.