Rick Perry’s evolution on abortion tells you something about the voter segment represented by the Iowa Republican caucus participant.

He now declares he opposes abortion in rape or incest (rape by a family member) and when a woman’s life is merely “at risk.” Only solid proof that an abortion would save a woman’s life — as opposed to merely preventing dreadful harm — is enough to justify abortion for Rick Perry. He credits his transformation to the anti-abortion movie that is the latest Mike Huckabee family commercial project.


Previously, Perry said he would allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or when the mother’s life is at risk. He said he changed that view earlier this month after the Huckabee film screening.

“When the lady who was in it was looking me in the eye and saying, ‘You need to think this through,’ she said, ‘I am the product of a rape’ and she said ‘my life has worth,'” Perry said. “It was a powerful moment for me.”

ALSO: This article notes how Republican candidates pack religious messages into their Iowa ads. (The Mike Huckabee cross, remember?)

UPDATE: And speaking of Iowa caucuses, read on for Gene Lyons’ column this week on the process. He thinks as much of Iowa GOP caucuses as I do — largely meaningless and a “marketing device for cable TV news channels’ it’s “American Idol” for the politically obsessed.” As for the candidates? Well, you can imagine.