Texas: Governor Perry Promotes Bill to Ban Abortions at 20 Weeks

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 12, 2012   |   4:07PM   |   Austin, TX

Yesterday, Gov. Rick Perry outlined initiatives to strengthen the state’s ban on abortions, including promoting legislation to stop abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

He was joined by Senator-elect Donna Campbell and pro-life groups at the Source Pregnancy Center in Houston.

“Over the last decade, Texas has taken extraordinary steps to protect the lives of the unborn, but when 80,000 lives continue to be lost to abortion each year in our state, we know our work is far from over,” Gov. Perry said. “In Texas, the Legislature meets for only 140 days every other year. As supporters of life, we have an obligation to make sure that every one of those days counts when it comes to protecting our most vulnerable citizens.”

Ten states have already recognized the need to protect unborn children who are capable of feeling pain. The governor also outlined measures to strengthen standards of care for women seeking abortions, including requiring physicians who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital, and requiring abortion clinics to be licensed as ambulatory surgical centers (ASCs).

“It’s time to acknowledge 21st century medicine and technology with 21st century legislation. We need to protect the tiniest and weakest of Texans, our children, both born and unborn,” Senator-elect Campbell said. “In addition, we should champion women’s health by holding facilities and physicians that perform abortions to the same standards as ambulatory surgery centers and physicians. Our duty is to protect the general welfare of Texans, and I will work everyday to keep Texas strong and healthy.”

Perry said abortion is the second most common surgical procedure in America, and the only one in Texas not currently required to be performed at a hospital, physician’s office or surgical center prior to 16 weeks gestation. The provisions outlined by Gov. Perry ensure patients have appropriate access to emergency medical care in the event of a complication, and that facilities are safe, sanitary and capable of handling possible complications.

Gov. Perry has worked diligently to protect unborn life in Texas. He signed both parental notification and parental consent laws to ensure parents are involved in their minor daughters’ major decisions, along with a ban that ensures tax dollars are not used to support abortion facilities. He also supported and signed the Woman’s Right to Know Act, and has worked with lawmakers to fund and promote alternatives to abortion. Last session, the governor signed a law that will prevent abortions in Texas until after the mother has had a sonogram, because women deserve to have all the information before making such a life-ending decision.



Elizabeth Graham of Texas Right to Life has talked about efforts to promote the new bill.

“Texas Right to Life has already met with countless Pro-Life activists, experts, and Pro-Life elected officials across the state to build consensus for this measure and to spread awareness about the fact that children who are capable of feeling pain are subjected to an excruciating premature death by abortion,” she said. “The general medical consensus is that the developing human preborn child is capable of experiencing torturous pain at 20 weeks post-fertilization. These scientific findings are based on anatomical, behavioral, and physiological neuro-stimuli. The science of preborn pain sets the standard of care for preborn children who undergo surgery in utero.”