Texas Governor Rick Perry [official website] signed House Bill number 2 [text] on Thursday, enacting three new restrictions on the practice of abortion. These changes require physicians performing the procedure to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles and the facility to meet ambulatory surgical center requirements, and reduces the allowable gestational period from 24 to 20 weeks, among more than one dozen smaller changes to regulations. The enactment of the law sparked protests [Texas Tribune report]. Perry maintained that the changes were made to protect women [speech]. However, opposition leaders, including state senator Wendy Davis [official website], argue that such upgrades impose an undue burden. Thus, instead of improving health options for women in abortion clinics, opponents of the new laws argue [legislative record] it will limit availability of the clinics because so few can afford the upgrades.
Texas [JURIST news archive] is one of several states placing recent restrictions on abortions. standards of the new law [JURIST news archive]. Earlier this month, both Wisconsin and North Carolina [JURIST reports] joined more than half a dozen other states in rewriting their abortion regulations in a similar fashion to Texas.