Citing Joan Rivers, Texas' Perry backs clinic law

AUSTIN, TX -- Republican Gov. Rick Perry has pointed toward comedian Joan Rivers dying at a surgery clinic while defending a Texas law that would shutter abortion facilities statewide.

Perry said Sunday "it's a curious thought" whether Rivers might be alive had there been tighter regulations at a New York outpatient surgery center where she went into cardiac arrest this month.

The 81-year-old Rivers was undergoing a routine procedure. Health officials in New York are investigating.

Perry last year signed a sweeping anti-abortion law that would close most abortion facilities in Texas. But part of the law is on hold after a federal judge in August blocked requirements that abortion clinics meet hospital-level operating standards.

Perry was speaking at the Texas Tribune Festival during a wide-ranging interview about his 14 years as governor.
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