-- Lisa Esposito
THURSDAY, July 18 (HealthDay News) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry
signed into law Friday an anti-abortion bill considered one of the
most restrictive in the country.
The law bans abortions after 20 weeks, holds abortion clinics to
the same standards as surgical centers and requires doctors
performing abortions to have admitting privileges at local
Five of Texas' 42 abortion clinics currently meet the new
The bill was passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature in
a highly charged atmosphere after heated debate. A previous version
of the bill failed in June after an 11-hour filibuster by
Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth.
After the first bill failed to pass, Perry, a Republican, called
a special session of the Legislature on July 1 to reconsider the
measure. Following passage of the bill, Perry said, "Today, the
Texas Legislature took its final step in our historic effort to
Backers of the law say it will ensure quality health care for
women and fetuses, the
Texas medical groups and the American Congress of Obstetricians
and Gynecologists have opposed the legislation. In a July 2
statement, ACOG said the effort was "plainly intended to restrict
the reproductive rights of women in Texas through a series of
requirements that improperly regulate medical practice and
interfere with the patient-physician relationship."
Democratic legislators said they would continue to oppose the
law, with a court challenge the likely next step. Federal judges
have blocked enforcement of similar law in other states,
questioning their constitutionality, the
For more on abortion, visit the
U.S. National Library of Medicine.
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