Perry signs abortion bill into law
July 18th, 2013
12:25 PM ET
9 months ago

Perry signs abortion bill into law

Updated at 12:29 p.m. ET on 7/18

Austin, Texas (CNN) - Amid heightened security, beaming supporters, and chants of ‘shame’ from dozens of black clad abortion-rights activists, Gov. Rick Perry signed Texas’ controversial Fetal Pain bill into a law Thursday.

“In signing House Bill 2, we celebrate further the cementing of the culture of life which Texas is built upon…children do deserve the respect of simple recognition before their lives are cut tragically short,” Perry said.

The law, considered some of the most restrictive abortion legislation in the nation, will ban abortions past 20 weeks of gestation, mandate abortion clinics upgrade facilities to become ambulatory surgical centers, tighten usage guidelines for the drug RU486, and require doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic at which they're providing abortion services.

For weeks, the sound of prayer and drum circles reverberated through the Statehouse rotunda as thousands of supporters and opponents of the bill descended on the capital building. The voices were loud, earnest, and often angry, and between the two sides there was little middle ground to be seen.

Inside a Statehouse auditorium, the signing of the bill quickly took on religious overtones with supporters often expressing approval with an ‘Amen.’ For anti-abortion activists like Marlene Salcher, Thursday’s signing was an answer to her prayers.

“I believe that life begins at the beginning because God said he knew us in the womb and he knew us from birth,” she said.

Salcher was onsite at the Statehouse during some of the most intense protests over the past weeks, often holding up a small doll in the likeness of a 20 week old fetus. When asked about how she felt about the women on the other side of the issue, she paused as she tried to put herself in their shoes.

“I pray for them, especially the young women,” she said. “I feel like maybe they don’t quite understand what it’s like to have a child, or maybe they’ve been raped or had sex with someone outside of marriage and got pregnant and was told the lie that it was just a piece of tissue.”

Lieutenant Gov. David Dewhurst acknowledged the determination of the bill’s opponents,

“I understand that this has been a divisive issue and I believe this with all my heart…for those outside chanting, who may not agree with us, we love you just as much as we love those unborn babies,” Dewhurst said. “We respect your right to free speech, as Texans we respect your toughness, but we made a commitment to pass this bill and we did.”

Passage of the bill marks the beginning of more than a year of implementation. The twenty week ban will go into effect 91 days from the bill’s signing, while enforcement for the rest of the bill begins in September 2014.

Abortion rights activists are expected to mount a challenge to the bill in court.

The bill originally failed to gain approval because of a Democratic filibuster led by state Sen. Wendy Davis. Perry called the legislature into a second special session to continue consideration of the bill.

The bill passed the state House and state Senate last week.


Filed under: Abortion • Rick Perry
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Guess

    If the gop would just come out and say this is whatbwere doing because this is what we believe in, i, and many would at least have a certain amount of respect for that, but everything they say is a boldfcae lie, i mean everything, voting rights, right to work, abortion, immigration, simply out of touch, and out of control, with no intentions to slow in sight, getting worse by the day. they are rewriting the laws, and dont give a crap what you want. vote them out while you still can, this voting thing will be all but unbelievable, worsening every election cycle, as they gain power through corruption, by the time the people had enough, you will be powerless to change it, is that really that hard to see, that is the plan, are you going to be part of the problem or the solution

    July 18, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  2. onlyfacts

    Perry is a disgusting human being. For those of you who don't know, after public donations dwindled, he used stimulis money, that he was so against, to rebuild his fire damaged governors mansion. He spends thousands and thousands on dinners and parties. He goes to church every Sunday, and lies to us all every Monday thru Friday. He is an embarrassment to my state!

    July 18, 2013 07:55 am at 7:55 am |
  3. Guess

    Fight back while you can rational people, sooner or later, they will get to something that hits close to home for you, dont wait, your vote means less and less every election, by design.look at all the gop controlled states, they push through laws that take your rights, and power to fight for them, without one word of discussion, or debate, this is not what made this country great, but it is what is eroding your quality of life, standard of living, you continue to pay more, and the rich cotinue to pay less, no coincidence here.

    July 18, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  4. Guess

    Why vote for a party whos every word is meant to mislead? they lie everyday about every issue, and smile in the camera as they do, disgusting, truly makes me sick to my stomach to see the most powerful government in the world, acting so unbelievably selfish, they know what they are doing will ruin your standard of living,but theirs gets better, so, sorry pal, your screwed, everytime we have lost all credibility with the world, all from the gop war machine

    July 18, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  5. Rudy NYC

    from the article:

    The measure bans abortions past 20 weeks of gestation, mandates abortion clinics become ambulatory surgical centers, tightens usage guidelines for the drug RU486 and ......
    -----------------
    Someone around here lied to me last week. They told that I was wrong when I wrote that the Texas bill is an outright abortion ban after 20 weeks. They cited a HuffPost article, claiming that the new Texas law actuallly allows for exceptions past 20 weeks. I was called a liar, which is actually coded language for, "Someones telling the truth! Let's collectively debunk it!"

    July 18, 2013 08:24 am at 8:24 am |
  6. Guess

    Gop plan is simple, crash the economy, kill the unions, and take your ability to stop it away. the sooner people actually realize that the gop wants a depression, the wealthy always come out better,and we come out worse, with less power, i know its a tough pill to swallow, but the proof is there. once that is known, you see why they are putting so much effort into certain things, first, your ability to vote, or the value of that vote(gerrymandering). aka your legeal recourse to stop them, and the unions are the only thing left supporting your wages, union member or not, dont believe, check household income against union enrollment, when the unions lost power, your wages followed, like it or not, the proofs in the pudding, the gop loves it when the unions get hit, hostess anyone, do research on that, prime example of whats going on, the ceo's hired lawyersbto fight to shut down the plant. does thatbsound right to you? ceo, tryng to kill the company? wtf?, golden parachutes for the elite, and screw the rest,

    July 18, 2013 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "The Republican legislators who support it say the bill isn't about banning abortions, but rather about protecting women's health."

    Onward Christian Soldiers. ONWARD WITH THE LIES.
    After all what is the danger of a lie every now and again when said lying is done in the name of the Lord.

    July 18, 2013 09:10 am at 9:10 am |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Rudy NYC

    "Someone around here lied to me last week. They told that I was wrong when I wrote that the Texas bill is an outright abortion ban after 20 weeks. They cited a HuffPost article, claiming that the new Texas law actuallly allows for exceptions past 20 weeks. I was called a liar, which is actually coded language for, "Someones telling the truth! Let's collectively debunk it!"
    -------
    Reuters is reporting that there are exemptions for both severe fetal abnormalities and when the mother's life is in danger. I'd take Reuter's word before the Huffington post.

    July 18, 2013 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  9. Ivan

    "He credited prayer and even “the hand of God” in making Thursday’s event happen" Funny that in the US such a statement is cheered. Now if the same comment was used as a justification in an Islamic county, then it is completely unacceptable.

    July 18, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. tom l.

    @Lynda, rs, Dominican, Sniffit, Dutch and Rudy,

    Did you know that France doesn't allow an abortion after TWELVE weeks?

    July 18, 2013 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  11. scott

    Its good that they are finally stopping the muder of innocent children. Now women are going to have to think what they are doing, before jumping in bed with any man that comes along. Then using abortion as birth control to kill the child

    July 18, 2013 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  12. tom l.

    For the record, I think this is a terrible law due to the fact that many abortion clinics will be closed. That's not good. I do, however, feel that it isn't unreasonable to restrict abortions after 20 weeks accept in certain cases. There is a general belief that babies begin to feel pain around the 20-24 week period so that's not cool to allow that to happen.

    July 18, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. just sayin

    20 weeks is more than enough for women to make a decision. this law is just common sense. liberals and leftists just attack everything no matter how sensible. they want unfettered ability to kill babies no matter how old and think any restrictions are intolerable. yet these same people want to force all kinds of restrictions on citizens 2nd amendment rights to the point of rendering it useless. what is good for the 2nd amendment is just as good for abortion/baby murder.

    July 18, 2013 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    "The Republican legislators who support it say the bill isn't about banning abortions, but rather about protecting women's health."
    ---------–
    If this is not about banning abortions, then why the change from 26 weeks to 20? Does the law define how "20 weeks" is actually determined, and by who? The estimate can be off by as much as 2-4 weeks.

    July 18, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  15. Mike Wallace

    More big, intrusive government from Republicans. Color me not surprised.

    July 18, 2013 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. it must be said

    tom l.
    @Lynda, rs, Dominican, Sniffit, Dutch and Rudy,
    Did you know that France doesn't allow an abortion after TWELVE weeks?
    --

    Of course they do and will not respond to you. It doesn't support their far left agenda of killing babies and calling it healthcare.

    July 18, 2013 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. thinking outside the box

    scott
    Its good that they are finally stopping the muder of innocent children. Now women are going to have to think what they are doing, before jumping in bed with any man that comes along. Then using abortion as birth control to kill the child
    _________________________________________________________________________________________

    You mean how like making murder illegal has stopped all murders, and making underage drinking illegal has stopped all underage drinking? If you seriously think this will stop abortions you are wrong. All you have to do is look back several decades in our country and see that abortions still took place when it was illegal in certain states and heavily restricted in others.

    July 18, 2013 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    Reuters is reporting that there are exemptions for both severe fetal abnormalities and when the mother's life is in danger. I'd take Reuter's word before the Huffington post.
    -------------
    No, they're not. This article is almost a word for word clone of the Reuters article published today. The new Texas law does not allow for any exceptions past 20 weeks.

    July 18, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  19. Pander Bear

    “In signing House Bill 2, we celebrate that Rick Perry will never see the inside of the White House unless he buys a ticket for the tour".

    July 18, 2013 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  20. greasemonkey

    Once this law is thrown out by the courts, the only remaining effect of this whole process will be the skyrocketing career of Wendy Davis....................Oops.........

    Clinton/Davis '16

    July 18, 2013 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. MTATL67

    The Republicans are so proud of their War On Women campaign but shocked at why they lost 2012 and they will be shocked at their loses in 2014 and 2016.

    July 18, 2013 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Tim

    Scott, what about in cases of rape? What about incest? This is not just about a woman being careless.

    July 18, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  23. scarf

    “In signing House Bill 2, we celebrate further the cementing of the culture of life which Texas is built upon…children do deserve the respect of simple recognition before their lives are cut tragically short,” Perry said.
    ====================================================================================

    Yes, cut tragically short by inadequate health care, malnutirition, rampant crime in their neighborhoods, poor education resulting in limited opportunities in life (assuming they live long enough to go to school), etc.

    July 18, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  24. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    tom l.
    @Lynda, rs, Dominican, Sniffit, Dutch and Rudy,

    Did you know that France doesn't allow an abortion after TWELVE weeks?
    ----------------------------------------------
    Who gives a crap? This isn't France! You're more than welcome to move there if that rocks your boat.

    July 18, 2013 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    And today's "Worst Person in America" Award goes to....

    July 18, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
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