Governor Perry Signs New Abortion LawFeatured Stories, News Thursday, July 18th, 2013
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ Texas Gov. Rick Perry has signed sweeping new abortion regulations that threaten the existence of most clinics in the state.
The Republican signed legislation Thursday that had sparked weeks of protests at the state Capitol.
The new law bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and dictates when abortion-inducing drugs can be taken. But it also requires abortion clinic doctors to have hospital admitting privileges and restricts abortions to surgical centers.
Only five of Texas’ 42 abortion clinics currently meet the new requirements.
The law takes effect in October.
Republicans initially failed to pass the bill last month because of a Democratic senator’s lengthy filibuster and a raucous crowd. They passed it last week after Perry called another special legislative session.
Protesters outside Thursday’s ceremony had signs reading, “Shame.”
Gov. Rick Perry today was joined by Texas legislators to stand for life and sign House Bill 2, which protects unborn babies after the fifth month of a pregnancy and raises standards for women’s health care in Texas.
“This is an important day for those who support life and for those who support the health of Texas women,” Gov. Perry said. “In signing House Bill 2, we celebrate and further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built.”
HB 2 builds on Texas’ strong pro-life efforts by banning abortions after the fifth month of a pregnancy. The bill also requires physicians who perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges at a facility within 30 miles. Additionally, it mandates that only a physician may dispense or administer abortion-inducing drugs, and requires the physician to comply with all FDA guidelines for the drug. The bill also requires licensed abortion facilities to meet the same minimum safety standards as ambulatory surgical centers, beginning Sept. 1, 2014.
“New research and advanced technology give prematurely-born children a renewed chance at life, which should give us all pause as we argue the definition of viability and consider the human impact of abortion,” Gov. Perry said. “Additionally, House Bill 2 ensures that anyone performing abortions in Texas is doing so in a facility that is safe, clean and prepared to deal with any emergencies that might occur – a reasonable, common sense expectation for those caring for the health and safety of Texans.”
Gov. Perry continues to be a staunch defender of life in Texas. He has signed legislation requiring parents to consent to their minor daughter’s abortion, banning tax dollars from being used to support abortion facilities, and requiring women to have a sonogram before an abortion. The governor has also fought to ensure Texas women get the health services they need, including $100 million in new funding to expand women’s health services and creating the Texas Women’s Health Program.
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