Ridiculous Rick Perry Claims Abortion is America’s Second Most Common Surgical Procedure

Rick_Perry_two_fingersJust when you think Rick Perry couldn’t possibly say anything more outlandish and inaccurate—he opens his mouth once again.

In one of his most recent statements, he claimed abortions are the second most common surgical procedure in the United States.

Which, of course, is completely baseless and inaccurate.  In fact, there’s nothing that exists which would even come close to quantifying  this claim with any kind of real legitimacy.  Maybe if you only compared 2 surgical procedures, one being heart procedures and the other being abortions, then abortions would be second.

Either Rick Perry blatantly lied or he’s so misinformed that his competency should be questioned, for someone of supposed sound mind to believe that abortions would be the second most common surgical procedure.

And if he believes that outrageously fabricated piece of statistical information, doesn’t that then lead us to think that his entire stance on women’s health and abortions should be put into question?

After all, if someone believes abortions are the second most commonly performed surgical procedure, which is not even remotely close to being accurate, wouldn’t that mean their stance on any abortion related legislation was formed based on grossly miscalculated data?

I mean come on…

First, it’s debatable to even call having an abortion a surgical procedure.  Second, about 17%, or nearly 1 in 5, of them are done by pill.  And third, there are about 45 million inpatient surgical procedures done per year while there are only 1.2 million abortions performed.

Using those numbers, and if you considered every abortion a surgical procedure, 2.7% of all “surgical procedures” would be abortions.

This doesn’t take a PhD to figure out—it doesn’t even take a great deal of common sense.  Do some people really think abortions are so common that they rank second in performed surgical procedures in this country?

And if they believe this, what in the world are these people doing in charge of any kind of legislation which involves a woman’s health—hell, anyone’s health.

It’s terrifying to me that a man like Governor Perry sits there on his pulpit, preaching to others what is or isn’t moral, what is or isn’t right—yet he’s so delusional about the frequency of abortion that he believes they’re happening at a rate some 400-500% more than they actually are.

And even if you say that Perry misspoke and meant that abortions are the second most common surgical procedure for women, it would be a ridiculous stretch.  One would then have to assume that the majority of the other 97.3% of surgeries are done to men when over 50% of the population is female.

So when you take into account all facts, all information, logic and the most basic of common sense—Rick Perry either lied or when it comes to abortions he’s a complete idiot.

There’s simply no way any logical person in this country, who put one single ounce of thought into this topic whatsoever, could believe that abortions are the second most common surgical procedure in this country.

And anyone who would believe that sure as heck doesn’t have any business passing legislation which dictates women’s health, their right to choose or abortions.

Because they don’t have a clue what it is they’re talking about.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


Facebook comments

  • angellgirl

    Yeah, but if you say it, a certain number of people will believe it, true or not.

    And then the next time someone says something baseless about women’s health, they’ll add it to the pile of other “stuff they know,” even though there’s no fact to it whatsoever.

    • Pat

      I cannot get over the amount of Americans who believe all of this BS from the Republicans. How can anyone be that ignorant of the truth! I am talking about some in my own family! Get a clue you “innocent ignorants”, so we can vote these jerks out of office!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • motherunit

        A lot of these same people believe in Adam & Eve (not Adam & Steve, BTW) Noah’s Ark and the notion that the earth is about 6000 years old. Critical thinking is not their strong suit.

      • Texas nurses

        Their thinking is a lot better than the simple minded beliefs/propaganda/thinking of the Democrats

      • myelysian

        @texasnurses:disqus – You are the ugliest type of troll out there. For you to make that comment about Democrats clearly means you aren’t one. Yet, somehow you are posting comments on a progressive Dem website. How it makes you ugly is that you choose to spend your time going onto sites that you disagree with just so you can post ignorant, absurd comments. Just exactly what are you wanting to achieve? My guess is nothing more than name calling and self-stroking. You waste everyone’s time and come across as pathetic in the process. If that in fact is your goal, congrats, you’ve accomplished it!

      • Kyle Michel Sullivan

        Honey, that comment by itself proves how simple-minded you are.

      • Cindy2239

        And Republicans like Texas nureses are calling Democrats simple minded/propganda/ thinking people?, well if that isn’t the pot calling the kettle black. Some who are old enough will know what that means lol.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        OH, PULEEZE. As if you in Texas are shining examples of intelligent thought (my apologies to those in Texas who aren’t mindless morons; I hear a few of them actually exist).

  • drae

    They know they’re lying, but it sounds good, has numbers, and ….. I had a friend the other day who did exactly what they all seem to do — 1) establish terms and massively overstate (infanticide, murder, 24/7 at will abortions, etc); 2) tell a personal and gruesome story that is meant to make you step back and see the horror and inhumanity of abortions “vast and selfish overuse” (i.e.. my aunts a nurse and….); 4) Refute your comments by restating the above; when given real facts and numbers the there is the “statistics can be used to prove anything on either side” or “facts don’t prove anything” which since they are coming from a religious bent has always seemed particularly ironic to me; last but certainly not least comes the anger and fake sorrow that you “do not care that infants are dying” and the rest. Seriously, I have been through this more than once and it seems to go the same way every time ending with the un-friending which of course is supposed to punish but actually relieves.

    • grannieannie2

      Just take into consideration that they were fed fairy tales with their mother’s milk.

      • musicalbitch

        I don’t think they were breastfed…they’d be smarter if they were.

      • grannieannie2

        Snake milk maybe? Or anything that fed them venom which they still have in their systems.

    • Var Enyo

      Yeah, I saw one swearing that over 650,000 women a year die in the US from abortions. They just pull these numbers out of their neither portions I suppose.

    • Dash

      Are you kidding me? The kings and queens of the anecdotal heart grab, as well as fudging statistics in this country, are Liberals, not pro-lifers. That you are pointing fingers over that is hilarious, and loses you any credibility that you think you might have had. One needs to look no further than our president, who brings the innocent and touching, yet completely thoughtless requests of children into the political arena, in order to further his own agenda. Moreover, in stating that the sorrow of pro-life advocates is fake, you delve into the realm of mind reading and absolutely idiocy. Oh wait…I must not assume. Are you capable of reading minds? No? I see. For someone who claims to reason through things, you spew an awful lot of blanket statements with…wait for it…absolutely no evidence shown to back yourself up. Speak less, listen more, and most importantly, GET OVER YOURSELF. You are one arrogant piece of work.

      • I hate religious scum

        time for your meds,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and tithing at the tax free business called “CHURCH”…… keep ignoring facts and keep spewing hatred

      • Jaina

        Thanks for proving Drae’s point there Dash……
        Invoking ‘Obama’ is a classic too, you forgot that one Drae.
        And as far as mind reading, Republicans have been reading peoples minds (intentions) ever since Obama took office. You guys really do need to step away from the kool-aid

      • Cherylln

        Kool-Aid is way overused and irrelevant. I bet you don’t even know what it refers to. Please learn something new and relevant.

      • Jaina

        Jim Jones….next?

  • tk

    You overlooked another option: he is lying AND he is an idiot.

    • Or his hate-fueled lying has turned him into an utterly useless fool who believes anything coming out of what’s left of his functioning brain.

      • JenniferAnn

        Wait… Perry had a functioning brain? When was this fabled time?

    • Dale Blackstock

      Funny how he became a Christian when he knew he couldn’t get votes any other way. Now, he hides behind The Bible. He is a pure POS.

      • Baaly

        You mean he tries to hide behind the bible, like 99.9% of them do. Unfortunately I don’t think any of them have a) read or b) the mental capacity to understand what is written in that book.

      • localman22

        I find it Ironic that someone replies to an article about how Rick Perry makes up a statistic by making up a statistic and making obviously false claims about a group of people. Tell me, how are you any different than the person you are complaining about?

      • CMW

        I think it was pretty obvious @baaly:disqus was employing the power of hyperbole there (whether I agree with him wholeheartedly or not), while Rick Scott was speaking as though from a place of knowledge on the matter.

  • Kathy Ruth

    Perhaps he’s including all the SPONTANEOUS abortions (incorrectly called miscarriages)! That would make GOD the biggest abortionist ever!

    • Kelly Lockwood Brindle

      Let’s not forget he knocked up Mary out of wedlock, left his only son with another man to raise him, and then proceeded to do nothing while his only son was being beatin to death. That to me is just the tip of the iceberg!

    • Var Enyo

      I’ve only had one fanatic answer me when I asked about that and they said it was OK, because those are natural. Want to bet the number of women arrested for having one goes through the roof as they are accused of causing them?

      • JenniferAnn

        An overdose of vit. C for about a week in the first month of pregnancy is enough to induce a miscarriage. There are a lot of ways to end a pregnancy but the farther along a woman is, the more dangerous it becomes.

      • Kathy Ruth

        Well, considering that at least one state (don’t have time to look it up right now, sorry) has proposed counting from the time of a woman’s last period for abortion purposes–this is not at all far-fetched!

      • DDDALA

        Yep. I’ve been saying that for A long time. (Many years ago I wrote a short story with that theme.) The other problem I see with these new person hood amendments is after taking tax breaks for unborn fetuses (since they’re now people in their own right), what happens if there is a miss-carriage? Do the tax refunds have to be paid back? Do the parents get charged interest and penalties. Is there jail time for fraud?
        If anyone has the answers please let me know.

  • Edward K. Jordan

    It probably is taken off the latest Fox News talking points memo. Texas should be embarrassed concerning their “intellectually challenged” Governor.

    • Var Enyo

      Stupidity has become a plus for bagger politicians.

    • JenniferAnn

      As a Texan, I assure you we are. Everytime he speaks it looks as if the state has lost another 10 I.Q. points.
      As a Texas Democrat it would appear death is our only hope in getting Perry out. Personally, I no longer care who takes the office so long as its ANYBODY but Perry

      • Aloanstar

        I agree…as another Texan, I am pretty sure he will be gone this next time. He is as embarrassing as when we had Bush…actually more so, since he is still in there.

  • Seapetal

    “Rick Perry either lied or when it comes to abortions he’s a complete idiot.” Personally i think he’s JUST complete idiot, period, not just on abortions !!!!

  • Michael DeWald

    I don’t believe it’s the second most common procedure, but your numbers provide no proof it’s not. 2.7% of all procedures? Out of how many hundreds of different kinds? You’re going to have to come up with better data too.

    • Harding

      Or you could get off your lazy ass and do your own research instead of expecting people to do it all for you.

      • Michael DeWald

        He’s the one making the claim as the point in his blog, not me. The author was lazy, which is my point.

  • polliwogg

    Dammit, Rick, will you please SHUT UP. You’re embarrassing the entire state.

  • MsRou

    Here is what I found:
    Surgeries at free-standing centers now make up 42% of all outpatient operations, the report shows.

    The most common conditions treated by outpatient surgery include cataracts, 3 million cases; benign tumors, 2 million cases; cancers, 1.2 million cases; esophageal diseases, 1.1 million cases; and diverticulosis, 1.1 million cases, the study shows.

    • patsijean

      Then there are all those surgeons that specialize in heart surgery, cervical fusion ( such as the fusion I had last May)..

    • Persnlmgr

      There you go spewing ACTUAL FACTS, MsRou. How are they supposed to embrace the Truth?

      You KNOW they can’t…

  • mixie1

    There MUST be a badge of honor to say the most stupid thing you can think of to impress your brethern inside your bubble. I do pray there are some bright people left in Texas and they don’t all have their heads in the twilight zone.

  • ironman2819

    We seriously need a recall election and get this clown out of office. He is an embarrassment to TX and to the United States.

  • Angela Monger

    If abortion is such a common procedure I wonder why it is out of all of the people I’ve known during my adult lifetime, which has been a good many, I only know three people who have had an abortion and two were due to medical complications.

    • Evelyn

      Well I’m sure it isn’t something people go advertising. Plenty of people have had them and will never say. My comment is in no way meant to validate Perry’s moronic statement however.

  • Dan Humphrey

    How about a list of what the top, say, five surgical procedures actually are? Michael DeWald, is right. This article doesn’t put the issue to rest, even though I, too, believe abortion must be quite a bit lower than #2.

    • rhickok1109

      See MsRou’s post, from about 2 hours before your post.

      • Dan Humphrey

        I saw that. If I understand correctly, since that posting only mentions outpatient procedures, abortion, if all are (problematically) defined as surgery, could, at 1.2 million per year, conceivably be third. What I’d like to see is a list of all surgery, in patient and out, which I think would knock abortion out of the top five–maybe ten–entirely.

      • patsijean

        Why? Already out of the top 10.

  • Sky

    The man is a moron, I can’t tell if he is forcing his own religious beliefs down our throats, unconstitutional, or he really is that stupid. Much like idiot that put the bill together. When asked why rape wasn’t an exemption she stated that, “in the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out.” She had no idea what a Rape kit is actually used for, the collection of evidence. The tactics of the Republicans across this nation are becoming completely unconstitutional, unethical and from what I can see bordering on illegal. We need to bring these votes to the people who will affected by this as it is apparent that those elected are not voting for the people but for their own agendas. I can guarantee you that if Rick Perry was raped and impregnated by an alien, from whatever planet, the laws would change immediately.

    • Cherylln

      Their actions are not bordering on illegal. They are flat out illegal. And that is just the stuff we know about. The tip of the iceberg. They are out of control.

  • Cemetery Girl

    Statistics can be skewed depending on how they’re compiled. If someone decided to combine all abortion numbers (surgical and pill), morning after pill (which prevents implantation and does not abort), and D&C procedures (which is not abortion but is sometimes lumped in with abortion by some fanatics) and then compared those numbers against very specific surgeries then possibly the statistic could be achieved. Doesn’t make it right, but I could see that as a remote possibility that would spread the idea that these easy women just sleep around and gleefully run to the nearest abortion clinic. Gotta build that statistical proof that these women need to be controlled

  • Len Woelfel

    Why is this guy getting so much press lately?

  • Judy Jackson

    Perry = idiot who lies. (A LOT)

  • gailillly

    Rick Perry is nothing but a friggen LIAR. Where is he proof of such nonsense. He hasn’t got a clue what abortion is all about but he wants to CONTROL IT. Why don’t you try being the poor woman that has to go through this, what you think she likes it??? You are a god dam clown just like that other governor in Texas. What are you related for you both are full of SHIT AND STUPIDITY.

  • Jaina

    If abortions WERE the 2nd most frequent surgical procedure…..why would you want to close down so many clinics? He can’t ‘kill’ Roe vs. Wade. If there are that many being performed, you want MORE doctors involved, not less.
    Just another ‘See it my way or you’re wrong’ Republican tactic. Can 2014 get here already please?

  • Dana

    Where was e speaking when he came out with that fascinating factoid?

  • William Klabunde

    Rick Perry either lied or when it comes to abortions he’s a complete idiot. Can’t it be both.

    • OohRahMama

      Oh, sugar…of course he can.

  • Texas nurses

    All of you can mock Perry, but he does not care. He has blessed this nation and that is why Democrats are flocking to Texas because of jobs, less taxes/regulations, etc. You progressives just do not get it. America is turning against the Communist Progressive Democratic Party. Look at the poles. Obama approval now at 41%. Democrats are even turning against Democrats like the Texas Democratic Senator who made her grand performance on abortion. Her fellows peers did not follow her and voted in favor for the bill.

    • jamesnic

      You are an idiot. Go get in bed with your stupid mysogynistic governor and have a big time.

      • Mike Hitchcock

        Just don’t get pregnant…

  • Texas nurses

    All of you attack Perry as a liar. What a joke. This year Obama, John Kerry, IRS Director, NSA Director, DOJ Attorney General Holder, Hillary Clinton have all lied when during the investigations and foreign crises. THe Democratic Party is the most corrupt, dishonest, power hungry party in History of America. Even worse than Nixon and that speaks volumes.

    • OohRahMama

      *yawn* Yet another puffed up, low-information rant regurgitated in a weak attempt to justify ridiculously reckless & hateful behavior. It gets so old. Ya gotta admire their spunk…

      I do admit it gives me chills thinking how a possible “health professional” like this might sneak their personal beliefs into a patient’s care. Egad.

  • texblonde2001

    First, an interesting tidbit of info, New Zealand saw its’ lowest number of abortions in 20 years in 2012. What was different in 2012? Greater access to affordable contraception and longer lasting contraception (I’m guessing they mean the depo provera shot that lasts 3 months). While there are more surgical procedures with greater numbers than abortions in the US, here is a list of a few well-known surgical procedures and their yearly numbers. Abortion number is not even close to being #2.
    333,964 abortions in 2012, compared to:

    Cesarean section:1.3 million
    Cataract surgery: 1.2 million
    Total knee replacement: 719,000
    Balloon angioplasty or coronary atherectomy: 500,000
    Hysterectomy: 498,000
    Coronary artery bypass graft: 395,000

  • texblonde2001

    First, an interesting tidbit of info, New Zealand saw its’ lowest number of abortions in 20 years in 2012. What was different in 2012? Greater access to affordable contraception and longer lasting contraception (I’m guessing they mean the depo provera shot that lasts 3 months). While there are more surgical procedures with greater numbers than abortions in the US, here is a list of a few well-known surgical procedures and their yearly numbers. Abortion number is not even close to being #2.
    333,964 abortions in 2012, (does not include termination by pill) compared to:

    Cesarean section:1.3 million
    Cataract surgery: 1.2 million
    Total knee replacement: 719,000
    Balloon angioplasty or coronary atherectomy: 500,000
    Hysterectomy: 498,000
    Coronary artery bypass graft: 395,000

  • sam I am

    I’m surprised someone hasn’t tried to shoot him yet.

  • Mike Hitchcock

    I hate to say it (and please don’t think I’m supporting that idiot Perry in any shape or form) but as a skeptic I see some very dubious logic in this article. Maybe abortions account for only 2.7% of all surgical operations, but this in and of itself in no way discounts the possibility that they rank #2 in the list. How many other surgical procedures are there? How are they divided up? To make any kind of accurate assessment of Perry’s statement we need hard numbers on the other operations and how they are classified.

    In the link in the 3rd paragraph there is reference to the numbers of endoscopies and colonoscopies which do indeed seem to show far greater numbers than abortions – but can these really be considered surgical procedures? They are internal examinations, sure, but in the UK at least are carried out by nurses and doctors – not surgeons, who have more difficult tasks for their time and skills. And wisdom tooth extractions? Why not all extractions? Fillings, maybe? Scale and polish?

    However much of a reprehensible moron Perry is, we cannot criticise his statements as lacking in factual basis if the counter-argument is also full of holes. I strongly suspect Perry is wrong – badly wrong – but there is nothing here to shut down his nonsense.

  • Brian

    Then what is the second most common surgical procedure? I was expecting to be told a factual truth of what is, but instead I read a manipulating of numbers to make it appear that it could not be true. Nothing factual was provided to prove it to be completely baseless and inaccurate. Usually, when debating or going to contradict someone, proper resources and facts will be presented. It does seem to be a wide stretch of a claim that abortion is the second most common surgical procedure performed in America, but maybe common surgical procedures is the difference. Are “heart procedure” surgeries considered common? Mr. Allen Clifton, what is the second most COMMON surgical procedures performed in America?

  • Edward Baker

    facts are not Ricks strong points ,Talking out his colon is …