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. American Male

    Can't wait for Rick to run (and fail miserably) for non-Texas office. I'll be in the front row hurling spoiled fruit at him.

    July 18, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  2. lolo

    So says the idiot who can not even name our government departments. Texas has so many older people living there who do not understand that we are not living in the fifties anymore. Poor Texas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even sadder is that the entire south is living in LaLa land.

    July 18, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  3. Lynda/Minnesota

    "It doesn't support their far left agenda of killing babies and calling it healthcare."

    Whatever my view points are on abortion is between me and God. It would be wise of you to accept that and move on.

    July 18, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. Fair is Fair

    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.
    ---------
    In today's day and age of so many forms of readily available, inexpensive birth control, there should RARELY be an "unwanted" child, unless you define an "unwanted" child as "nature's inevitable result of the unprotected act of procreation".

    July 18, 2013 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. rs

    Dear GOP-
    Do you hear the votes going away?

    July 18, 2013 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  6. L.Sanfod

    The republican War on Women continues as the GOP screams " Full Speed Ahead". Just what we need a theocratic based party of hate.

    July 18, 2013 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. rs

    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.
    __________________________
    As you well know, the 20 week barrier isn't the only issue. It is the closure of 85% of the clinics. That leaves all of 5 in the whole state of Texas where poorer women can get assistance with pre-natal care, get assistance on womens' health issues, get birth control counseling, cancer screenings, and yes, abortions.
    Your motives are entirely too transparent.

    July 18, 2013 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  8. tom l.

    @Sniffit,

    Oh, and before you mischaracterize me and make another wrong assumption about me (like you always do), please note that I am strongly against this law. I think closing those abortion clinics is bad. Very bad. And the argument of a more intrusive govt is a very viable argument and I agree with that.

    However, I could laugh at you guys on the left because all you want is more govt intervention but now, here, you are arguing for less govt. it's comical.

    July 18, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  9. rs

    tom l.

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

    Did you know that France doesn't allow an abortion after TWELVE weeks?
    ____________________________
    So what? I dount that twelve week rule is hard and fast if the foetus dies, or develops some sort of abnormality. You will note that thanks to Roe v. Wade, abortion is a Consitutionally protected right of women in the U.S. right?

    July 18, 2013 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  10. TONE

    These abortion laws enacted by the GOP will be their waterloo come 2014, and 2016 they think they are safe in their jerry mandered districts but they have something coming, and it will be crushing so much so that they will let the courts decide, coleman anyone.

    July 18, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  11. tom l.

    @Lynda
    "France, huh? I've no argument on what France's laws might be"

    To be consistent, I really hope you don't refer to the ACA and Europe/Canada and their healthcare systems, then. I mean, their laws clearly have no relevance to us then why should you ever want to use them to reinforce your position in the future?

    July 18, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. madineuless

    everyone,take a look at that crowd surrounding that idiot governor.do they represent texas?not one hispanic or african american in that crowd.we have to vote them all those repubes out of office

    July 18, 2013 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  13. California

    Why do democrats support and approve of killing babies that late in a pregnancy?

    Democrats have already stated they support PBA's (Sebelius, Pelosi, Obama ect..)

    July 18, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Ol' Yeller

    "…children do deserve the respect of simple recognition before their lives are cut tragically short,” Perry said.
    Yes, Perry wants to end abortions and the killing of the innocents... until they are seventeen, then we can legally hunt them down in the dark with a flashlight and a gun and shoot them and get away with it. But only the brown and black ones.
    Big Government can't interfere in any way regarding my right to own a gun and stand my ground, but it can come into my bedroom and my doctor's office and tell me when, where, who, and how...
    The hypocracy of the republican party marches on in goose step...
    Sickens me.

    July 18, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  15. California

    Why do democrats approve of murdering little babies?

    Talk about heartless.

    July 18, 2013 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  16. badgirl2

    Dear Chrsitians:

    If you don't believe in abortion then don't have one. Stop pushing your morality on the rest of us. Or if you feel that strongly about taking care of these unwanted children then I challenge each family to adopt at least 1 of these unwanted babies and raise it to age 18. I also challenge you to find funding for daycare, nutritional programs, head start, public housing, food stamps and welfare for all of those babies that do not get adopted and still need to be taken care of.

    You can't have it both ways. If your going to control what women do with their bodies then it is now your responsibility to take care of the results of your actions.

    July 18, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. norma jean

    To repeat myself........Perry just signed away any chance he had to be elected president.......Wpmen vote too ...in case you didn't know it!!!!

    !!

    July 18, 2013 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. TONE

    I meant coleman against Al Franken

    July 18, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  19. 1twinsfan

    I hope little Ricky uses this as his next presidential campaign poster. "Hey girl, you know me, I closed those clinics in TX that offer low cost mammograms to women and forced pregnant women carrying babies with Anencephaly to carry them to term. Vote for me and all that can be yours, too."

    July 18, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. tom l.

    tom l.

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

    Did you know that France doesn't allow an abortion after TWELVE weeks?
    ____________________________
    So what? I dount that twelve week rule is hard and fast if the foetus dies, or develops some sort of abnormality. You will note that thanks to Roe v. Wade, abortion is a Consitutionally protected right of women in the U.S. right?

    Indeed it is a protected right of women in the US and I am completely against this law. However, and I will repeat this for you as I said to Lynda earlier:

    To be consistent, I really hope you don't refer to the ACA and Europe/Canada and their healthcare systems, then. I mean, their laws clearly have no relevance to us then why should you ever want to use them to reinforce your position in the future?

    July 18, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  21. Lynda/Minnesota

    "to be consistent, I really hope you don't refer to the ACA and Europe/Canada and their healthcare systems, then. I mean, their laws clearly have no relevance to us then why should you ever want to use them to reinforce your position in the future?"

    Tom. Do both of us a favor and try not to point fingers at that which you have no knowledge or basis to do so.

    July 18, 2013 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  22. Boo

    Texas just executed their 500th victim. If these people in that state are pro-life then I have a bridge in NYC to sell....any takers?

    July 18, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  23. Silence DoGood

    "20 weeks is more than enough for women to make a decision. "

    It has nothing to with 20 weeks. The State-Christian-Theocrasy folks are clear – they will work it down to 15, 10, 5 weeks then no abortion for anyone for any reason. What does it tell you about this religious sub-sub-group that it needs to lie about its intentions to avoid public outrage?

    newspeak:
    "20 weeks" = 0 weeks, no choice ever
    "faith based" = MY religion MY way forced on all
    "freedom of religion" = no freedom – only one state religion

    July 18, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  24. Sniffit

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

    One can only hope. People should be very worried in light of Kennedy's willingness to go along with the conservatives' charade on the VRA, which required deliberately ignoring all the ongoing, contemporary attempts to disenfranchise minority voters in the lead up to the 2012 election...all to arrive as the absurd reality-denial statement that "our culture has changed."

    July 18, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    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.
    --------–
    Honest? Let's be honest. You cited a Reuters article that apparently doesn't exist. Probably ditto for HuffPost.

    July 18, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
1 2 3 4