Perry signs abortion bill into law
July 18th, 2013
12:25 PM ET
1 year 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. Sniffit

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

    Did you know that this is not France?

    July 18, 2013 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Tony

    This law will be immediately blocked and eventually struck down by the courts. I doubt that the Supreme Court will even hear the case.

    July 18, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    Queue the preliminary injunction....

    July 18, 2013 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. sonny chapman

    "A Culture of LIFE"; from the same people who have executed 500 living breathing, horrible people , who probably had horrible lives & did horrible things to people that in no way deserved their fate. And also denied HEALTH CARE to the poor who would be covered by Medicaid."Jesus wept".

    July 18, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  5. Michael

    @Scott – so it's all the female's fault? You familiar with date rape? What about alcohol? Are you so pious that you've never made a mistake? I have. Many. These Fascist goons are chipping away, millimeter by millimeter, until a woman will have no rights at all. Who died and made these Ultra Maroons "God"? How dare they have the unmitigated gall to shove their myopian world view down the throats of over 50% of the population? Here's a clue, people, it is not a "baby" until it is born. Until a fetus exhibits purely human traits and can exist outside the womb, IT IS THE MOTHER'S CHOICE. Keep the Bloody GOP out of the bedroom.

    July 18, 2013 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  6. Sniffit

    " Now women are going to have to think what they are doing, before jumping in bed with any man that comes along. "

    That's only going to make it orders of magnitude harder for the anal-stage Oedipal-regressive misogynists in the GOP/Teatrolls to get laid.

    July 18, 2013 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "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."

    Any time you want to start being relevant by talking about the medically unnecessary regulatory requirements this law has saddled clinics with solely to create prohibitive financial burdens on their continued operation you let us know, mmmkay? The main issue is not the 20-weeks limit, altho it arguably violates Roe on its face. The issue is the deliberate regulatory lynching of all but 5 clinics in TX.

    July 18, 2013 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  8. scarf

    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.

    =============================================================================================

    You realize, of course, that you just justified the actions of those people who want to tax bullets at $10,000 each, right?

    July 18, 2013 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "This law will be immediately blocked and eventually struck down by the courts. I doubt that the Supreme Court will even hear the case."

    Actually, it probably will. This won't be like Prop * in CA which died partly because The Governator refused to defend it. TX and the other states trying to roll back the 20th century will fight tooth and nail against any adverse ruling, no matter how much it costs or how obvious it is they will lose, because the whole plan is to try to give Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas an opportunity to ignore precedent, overrule Roe and, they hope, convince Kennedy to go along with them for the ride. Plaintiffs who challenge these laws will be stuck appealing all the way to the SCOTUS if, for example, bastions of conservative court-packing like TX's 5th District Court decide to uphold these laws despite clear precedent and reams of evidence that these regulations fail the rational relation test.

    July 18, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  10. sonny chapman

    So Scott, in your world, what do you suggest be done to the Baby Daddy ? We do have DNA Testing in 2013, unlike in the 1950's World.

    July 18, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    Oops...that should've read "Prop 8"

    July 18, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    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.
    -----
    The new Texas law does not allow for any exceptions past 20 weeks
    ------
    Read the Texas law, Rudy. Specifically Section 171.045 – EXCEPTIONS. It's easy to find online.

    July 18, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  13. freedom

    This isn't so radical. 20 weeks is 5 months! A woman knows by then what direction she's going in. And there are exceptions to this law – the life of the mother and abnormalites in the fetus. This isn't radical – it's sensible – and actually increases the well-being of the mother.

    July 18, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair

    "Any time you want to start being relevant by talking about the medically unnecessary regulatory requirements this law has saddled clinics with solely to create prohibitive financial burdens on their continued operation you let us know, mmmkay? The main issue is not the 20-weeks limit, altho it arguably violates Roe on its face. The issue is the deliberate regulatory lynching of all but 5 clinics in TX."
    -----–
    Any time you want to stay on topic there, sport... Rudy says there's NO exceptions. I merely pointed out that there are exceptions. In the text of the bill, specifically Section 171.045 – EXCEPTIONS. That is, of course, should he choose to be honest.

    July 18, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Durundal

    fine, you want to legislate morality on matters of personal choice? Hand in your guns and zip your lips. Wait, oh NOW you are the party of choice and individual liberty. hahaha

    July 18, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  16. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    They're all for making you carry out a pregnancy that you don't want, but God forbid you need government assistance for that unwanted child, they turn a blind eye to you. See the hypocrisy there? They're forcing their religious views on us.

    July 18, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. Lisa P.

    “Children do deserve the respect of simple recognition before their lives are cut tragically short.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    How nice that Governor Perry is finally able to articulate the tragic reality of life for children in Texas: underfunded school systems and social services leading into an adulthood of low wages, underemployment, exploitation and inadequate or non-existent health care, culminating in wasted potential, miserable lives and early graves. To be born in Texas is to have your life cut tragically short - that's what the man says. But let's give the kids a round of applause at our next political rally or photo-op, because they make great props, they really do!

    Now that you've finally admitted what awaits children in Texas how about doing something about it, Governor? Or do you prefer to make sure the ones who were never born are the lucky ones? Perhaps this bill is really about preventing more potential victims from escaping your wrongheaded policies and politics. It's certainly not about respect for children, or their mothers, or anyone else for that matter; it's about power and beating anyone who doesn't agree with "your side" over the head with it for no reason except that they disagree with you - the very opposite of respect for anybody.

    July 18, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Michael

    @Scott – so it's all the female's fault? You familiar with date rape? What about alcohol? Are you so pious that you've never made a mistake? I have. Many. These Fascist goons are chipping away, millimeter by millimeter, until a woman will have no rights at all. Who died and made these Ultra Maroons "God"? How dare they have the unmitigated gall to shove their myopian world view down the throats of over 50% of the population? Here's a clue, people, it is not a "baby" until it is born. Until a fetus exhibits purely human traits and can exist outside the womb, IT IS THE MOTHER'S CHOICE. Keep the Bloody GOP out of the bedroom.
    _______________________________________
    Using your reasoning then how can a person be tried for two murder's when a pregnant woman is shot if it is not a baby till it is born.

    July 18, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. ST

    I am still shaking my head. How can anyone tell the other person what to do to their body? Will they then tell them what kind of food to eat and not, OR what health care they should have? People can pretend there is no dictatorship in America, BUT in the real sense it is thriving very well. Is there any woman who wants to be free can admire this kind of living? I do not think so.

    July 18, 2013 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Anonymous

    @Michael
    Here's a clue, people, it is not a "baby" until it is born. Until a fetus exhibits purely human traits and can exist outside the womb, IT IS THE MOTHER'S CHOICE. Keep the Bloody GOP out of the bedroom.
    _______________________________________________
    Using this reasoning then, it should be against the law to charge a person with two murders when a pregant woman dies due to a criminal act.

    July 18, 2013 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  21. labman57

    Republican governors and state legislators are taking a 'scorched earth' approach to women's health and privacy, doing whatever damage they can today ... recognizing that they will probably lose this opportunity after the next election cycle.

    They sense that voters throughout the nation who foolishly allowed Republicans to control both the governorship and the state legislature are now experiencing a severe case of buyers' remorse.

    July 18, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. patNY

    If the mother's life is in danger, and therefore, she can legally get an abortion, where in Texas will she be able to do so if the law achieves its goal of effectively closing all the abortion clinics in the state? I see this law, and all others like it, being struck down for various reasons, if not in their entirety, then in part.

    July 18, 2013 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. Boo

    Lets see by last count Texas has executed 500 people. Texas – "pro-life?" I DON'T THINK SO.

    July 18, 2013 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota

    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.
    --------------

    France, huh? I've no argument on what France's laws might be.

    July 18, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  25. Tony

    Sniffit, the undue burden is so clear in this case that it would be difficult for Kennedy to switch sides.

    July 18, 2013 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
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