Gov. Perry signs sweeping abortion restrictions, three clinics - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Gov. Perry signs sweeping abortion restrictions, three clinics to close

Governor Rick Perry signed the highly debated new abortion bill into law Thursday morning. The new law could close all, but six abortion clinics in the state of Texas.

The new law bans abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy and dictates when abortion-inducing drugs can be taken. It also requires abortion clinic doctors to have hospital admitting privileges and restricts abortions to surgical centers.

Governor Perry says Thursday is big victory for the unborn.

"It is our responsibility and duty to give voice to the unborn, the individuals who's survival is at stake," Perry said. "This bill lives up to that responsibility."

The law takes effect in October, but clinics will have a year to make the upgrades necessary or shut down. Opponents of the law say upgrades to existing abortion clinics can cost millions of dollars, and spike operational costs to more than half a million dollars a year.

At least three Planned Parenthood affiliated abortion clinics announced they will end operations at the end of August. Facilities in Bryan, Lufkin and Huntsville will close as a result of the new law and existing financial problems.

In Waco, Planned Parenthood Greater Texas says they plan to use the whole year to determine what to do with their facility.

"We believe that provisions of this bill is unconstitutional and similar provisions acted elsewhere have been in joined by state and federal courts," Natalie Kelinske, spokesperson of Planned Parenthood Greater Texas, said. "Right now we are evaluating all of our legal options and doing everything we can to make sure women in Texas have access to high quality health care."

Republicans initially failed to pass the bill last month because of a Democratic senator's lengthy filibuster and a raucous crowd. They passed it last week after Perry called another special legislative session.

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