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AUSTIN, Texas – Texas Gov. Rick Perry today signed into law a sweeping anti-abortion bill that would result in the closure of most women's health clinics that provide abortions in the state and block doctors from providing abortion care when needed.
Over the last several weeks, thousands of protesters have come to the State Capitol to oppose the bill and a bipartisan poll shows that 80 percent of Texans did not want the legislature to focus on abortion. Perry called this current special session of the legislature after the bill was defeated last month following a dramatic filibuster by State Sen. Wendy Davis.
Leading medical groups, including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Texas Hospital Association, oppose the bill, calling it an unwarranted intrusion into the doctor patient relationship and unnecessary for patient safety.
"The Texas measure is part of an orchestrated, nationwide plan to outlaw abortion clinic by clinic, state by state," said Jennifer Dalven, director of the American Civil Liberties Union's Reproductive Freedom Project. "As what happened in Texas shows, women aren't stupid. We won't sit quietly by while politicians take away our right to make our own, personal and private medical decisions just to score political points."
"The passage of this legislation is a clear example of an extreme minority imposing its will on the majority, all in an attempt to win more supporters in political primaries," said Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. "As polls of Texas voters have repeatedly shown, the majority of Texans don't want legislators passing more restrictions on a woman's right to have safe and legal abortions. Even after tens of thousands have stood up in the State Capitol and in cities across the state to tell them loud and clear that politicians should not be interfering in a woman's personal and private decision-making, some politicians are still not getting message."