[QODLink]
Americas

Texas passes abortion restriction bill

Democrats vow to legally challenge Republican-sponsored bill that will ban terminations after 20 weeks.

Last Modified: 13 Jul 2013 10:50
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Texas' Republican-controlled senate has passed a new abortion restriction bill that would ban pregnancy terminations after 20 weeks, a move Democrats have vowed to fight tooth and nail.

Republicans say the bill will protect the health of women and babies, but Democrats say it amounts to an attempt to introduce a ban on abortion by stealth and the party has vowed to fight it in the courts. 

The bill would also require abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and require that all abortions take place in surgical centres. Opponents of the law say it will be difficult for most abortion clinics to comply.

Texas is the thirteenth US state in recent years to adopt strict abortion legislation and the state’s governor, Rick Perry, said that, with this final passage of the legislation, he would make it his top priority to sign the bill into law.

The pink granite statehouse was packed on Friday, with Texans opposed to the bill wearing orange and holding signs that said, "My body, my choice," some of them jumping, chanting and loudly shouting outside the Senate chamber.

Those supporting the bill wore blue, some carrying Bibles and crosses and holding signs that said things like, "Unborn
babies feel pain".

'Important moment'

On Thursday, former Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, criticised those opposed to the law.

"The truth is the extreme party on this issue are the folks standing up here saying women don't deserve basic, sanitary standards when it comes to abortion clinics," Santorum said.

"And children who would otherwise be born alive are not entitled to any protection. So this is an important moment for everyone to recognise where the abortion debate really is in US today."

But abortion rights activist say supporters are wrong to think it will reduce abortion numbers.

"All this will do is reduce the number of safe and legal abortions. Women will get abortions one way or another," Julianna Gonen of the Center for Reproductive Rights in Washington told Al Jazeera. 

"We need to make sure they have access to safe, legal, medical care."

344

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.