The Texas Senate [official website] passed an abortion bill [HB 2 text] which will ban abortions after twenty weeks, require abortion clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers, dictate the usage of the drug RU486 and require abortion doctors at clinics to have admitting privileges at hospital within a 30 mile radius. Opponents of the bill, including Planned Parenthood of Texas [advocacy website], offered twenty-one amendments to the bill ranging from exceptions for rape and incest to allowing doctors more leeway in prescribing abortion-inducing drugs. The bill will now be passed to Governor Rick Perry [official website] who had promised to sign the measure.
Texas is one of several states placing recent restrictions on abortions. Earlier this month, the North Carolina Senate [official website] passed legislation [JURIST report] placing severe restrictions on abortion including shutting down most of the state's abortion's clinics, banning gender-selective abortions, restricting insurance coverage of abortions under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [JURIST backgrounder], and requiring a doctor to be present both when an abortion procedure is performed and when a woman takes an abortion-inducing drug. Also this month, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker [official website] signed a bill [JURIST report] requiring women seeking abortions to have an ultrasound and banning doctors without admitting privileges at local hospitals from performing the procedures. Last April, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback [official website] signed [JURIST report] anti-abortion legislation into law prohibiting abortions based on the baby's sex, preventing abortion providers from receiving certain tax breaks and proclaiming that life begins at fertilization.