Texas Gov. Perry Adds Antiabortion Proposal to State Legislature's Special Session

June 13, 2013 — Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Tuesday expanded the agenda of a special legislative session to include a measure "relating to the regulation of abortion procedures, providers and facilities," the Texas Tribune reports (Root, Texas Tribune, 6/11).

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee is expected to meet Thursday to consider the omnibus abortion legislation (SB 5, HB 60), which combines four measures that failed to progress in either chamber during the regular session.

The bill includes a provision that would ban abortions at 20 weeks of pregnancy, another that would require abortion clinics to meet standards for ambulatory surgical centers, and a third that would mandate that physicians who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. A fourth provision would require physicians to administer medication abortion drugs in person (Aaronson, Texas Tribune, 6/13).

In an announcement about the legislation, Perry said, "The horrors of the national late-term abortion industry are continuing to come to light, one atrocity at a time. Sadly, some of those same atrocities happen in our own state." He added, "We have an obligation to protect unborn children, and to hold those who peddle these abortions to standards that would minimize the death, disease and pain they cause" (Texas Tribune, 6/11).