Rick Perry signs sweeping Texas abortion ban into law

“It is a very happy, celebratory day,” Perry said before signing the sweeping antiabortion measure

Published July 18, 2013 3:32PM (EDT)

Rick Perry
Rick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed Texas' sweeping abortion ban that will likely shutter all but five of the women's health clinics that provide abortions in the state, among other draconian barriers to access.

“It is a very happy, celebratory day,” Perry said just before signing the bill.

Thousands of Texans went to the Capitol to protest the restrictions during weeks of debate over the measure, and Thursday's signing ceremony was no different. Dozens of orange-clad protesters returned once again to the Capitol, chanting, "Shame! Shame! Shame!"

"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 the message."

“The fight over this law will move to the courts, while the bigger fight for women’s access to healthcare in Texas gains steam," said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. "People are enraged by this law, and it has created a whole new generation of activists who are in it for the long run to elect leaders who will protect women’s health.”

The law, if it can survive a series of pending legal challenges, is slated to go into effect in October.

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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Abortion Abortion Rights Reproductive Rights Rick Perry Texas Wendy Davis Women's Rights