On Thursday, Governor Rick Perry signed the controversial HB2 into law, which sets widespread restrictions on abortion. The signing occurred at the Capitol auditorium with supporters gathering inside alongside the Governor, while protestors of the bill chanted outside.
The bill’s signing comes weeks after a 13 hour filibuster by Democratic Senator Wendy Davis that killed the bill in the first special session. However, while Senator Davis may have won that battle, the bill would still pass, the Governor adding it to a second special session to be debated and eventually approved by the House and Senate.
“Today’s signing definitely builds upon our continuing commitment to protect life,” Governor Perry said at the signing of the legislation.
The law would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks of gestation, mandate that all doctors who perform abortions also must have admitting privileges with a hospital within 30 miles of their practice, create new regulations on how the abortion drug RU-486 is administered, and force all abortion clinics to upgrade to the standards of a surgical center. The new standards are predicted to shut down 5 of the 42 abortion clinics in the state.
“This is an important day for those who support life and for those who support the health of Texas women,” Perry said.
Meanwhile, a few dozen black-clad protesters chanted outside the Capitol auditorium in opposition to the law. Chants of “shame” and “the blood of Texas women is on your hands” were shouted repeatedly.
Opponents of the law, such as Planned Parenthood, are expected to make lawsuits against it.
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) July 18, 2013
The law is set to take effect 90 days after the end of the special session.
Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore