(Photo: REUTERS/Brian Snyder)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry added new abortion regulations to the Legislature's special session workload on Tuesday, which could close down nearly 90 percent of abortion clinics in the state.
"The horrors of the national late-term abortion industry are continuing to come to light, one atrocity at a time. Sadly, some of those same atrocities happen in our own state," Perry said before lawmakers.
"In Texas, we value all life, and we've worked to cultivate a culture that supports the birth of every child. We have an obligation to protect unborn children, and to hold those who peddle these abortions to standards that would minimize the death, disease and pain they cause."
The Associated Press noted that the new proposals would place further restrictions on abortion providers and facilities, which would mean almost 90 percent will have to choose between spending millions to improve their clinics or shutting down.
San Antonio Democratic Sen. Leticia Van de Putte warned that politicians should work on issues that will consider the concerns of all Texans, rather than "pushing women's reproductive rights back to the past."
Sen. Kirk Watson, head of the Senate Democrats, agreed that such anti-abortion bills seek to undermine "Texas women's right to choice."
"Texas is already one of America's strongest pro-life states, but we can do more to protect the preborn," argued Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, however, who oversees the flow of legislation in the Senate, backing Perry's proposal.
Legislators have only about half of the 30-day session left to implement the new proposals. Besides the anti-abortion measures, Perry has also called for a bill that would create mandatory life sentences for 17-year-old offenders convicted of capital murder, even though the U.S. Supreme Court has said it is unconstitutional to hand out such punishments to offenders younger than 18.
As a conservative Christian, Perry has often stood behind his pro-life values, and was seen by some pastors as the right man to take on President Barack Obama during the 2012 elections, though he lost the candidacy for the Republican nomination to Mitt Romney.
"He is the most pro-abortion, most pro-homosexuality [president] in history. So if I look at the landscape of Republican candidates, I believe that eventually it will come down to a choice between Mitt Romney and Rick Perry, and I think a confident Christian like Rick Perry has a consistent record of conservative values," said Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, in an interview with The Christian Post in 2011.