After weeks of protests at the Texas state capitol building and a historic filibuster performed by Wendy Davis, Gov. Rick Perry signed HB 2 into law Thursday, which will drastically reduce abortion access throughout the state.
The bill has banned abortions 20 weeks after fertilization – four weeks earlier than the standard set by Roe v. Wade. It also requires that all abortion clinics register as ambulatory surgical centers and that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges to a hospital within 30 miles.
Additionally, a woman must now be in the presence of a doctor when she takes the abortion-inducing drug RU-486 instead of having the freedom to take it privately at home.
“This is an important day for those who support life and for those who support the health of Texas women,” Perry said. “In signing House Bill 2, we celebrate and further cement the foundation on which the culture of life in Texas is built.”
State Democrat lawmakers have vowed to immediately challenge the bill, promising to challenge its constitutionality. The bill was written with a severability clause, which means Democrats must challenge each component of the bill separately.
Democratic Sen. Royce West said the bill would inevitably be taken to court, considering a Wisconsin statute requiring doctors to have hospital admitting privileges was frozen by a federal judge last week. In May, an Arkansas law banning abortions after 12 weeks was granted an injunction.