Gov. Rick Perry: Abortion clinic law might have saved Joan Rivers

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(CNN) — Too soon?

While many are still mourning the loss of comedic icon Joan Rivers, Texas Gov. Rick Perry invoked her death to defend a controversial abortion bill he signed last year.

“It was interesting that when Joan Rivers — and the procedure that she had done, where she died — that was (at) a clinic. It’s a curious thought that if they had had that type of regulations in place, whether or not that individual would be still alive,” Perry said at a Texas Tribune event Sunday.

The regulation Perry referenced requires abortion clinics in Texas to meet the same facility standards as ambulatory surgery clinics in the state.

Critics contend that the law is one of the most restrictive in the nation, but Perry told the audience that he supports the measure.

“The will of the Texas legislature — which I agree with — (says) that it is a state’s right to put particular types of considerations into place — to put rules and regulations into place — to make a clinic be as safe as a hospital,” Perry said.

The investigation into River’s death is ongoing, but her personal throat doctor denies “performing an unauthorized procedure” before the star suffered cardiac arrest.

This is not the first awkward comparison made by the potential 2016 presidential candidate this year.

In June, Perry received harsh criticism for an analogy he made between homosexuality and an alcoholism.

“I may have the genetic coding that I’m inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at the homosexual issue the same way,” Perry said at a speech in San Francisco in June.

He later walked back his comment explaining, “I stepped right in it … We need to be a really respectful and tolerant country to everybody.”