(Photo: Bryan Redding Photography)
Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed into law new abortion legislation this week that threatens the existence of many clinics that perform the procedure throughout the state.
The regulations created a stir in the state's Capitol during recent weeks spark virulent protests and debates. The laws ban abortions conducted after the 20th week of pregnancy. They also dictate when abortion-inducing drugs could be used by a woman. Clinic doctors performing the procedure will follow new guidelines where they will need hospital admitting privileges and will only be able to conduct an abortion in an official surgical center.
The regulations could eliminate most of Texas' abortion clinics as only five found in the state currently meet these requirements. The bill was passed by a 19-11 vote just before midnight.
Opponents of the bill such as State Sen. Sylvia Garcia criticize it for not including exceptions for woman who have been raped or have been involved in incest. Supporters such as State Sen. Dan Patrick feel differently.
"It will require that abortion clinics must be brought up to the standards of ambulatory surgical day centers, which everyone should want an abortion clinic to be [up to those standards]," he said to ABC News.
Rick Perry recently defended the bill from detractors. Critics have called it unconstitutional due to it allowing the state to restrict the timeframe on when women are allowed to abort a fetus.
"Most people, I think in this country – and in Texas, certainly believe that six months is too late to be deciding whether or not these babies should be aborted or not. And we put the limit at five months in this bill," said Perry in a recently aired CNN program.
He also elaborated on the effect this bill will have in state decision making.
"This gets back to the issue of should the states be able to make these decisions or should we allow this big, cumbersome federal government to decide for all of us," he added. "I happen to be one of the people that believes the federal government should do a few things and do them well, and then allow the states to make the decisions on these types of issues."