Late last night, the Texas Senate surprised no one and passed SB5, the anti-abortion bill that Wendy Davis heroically filibustered last month. The bill passed 19 to 11, and the successful vote means the bill goes to Governor Rick Perry, who has been its vocal champion and will surely sign it with a grin.
SB5 is among the strictest anti-abortion measures in the country. According to the New York Times, it would ban all abortions after 20 weeks, requires all abortion clinics to become ambulatory surgical centers, restricts usage of RU486, and requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the location where they are providing abortion services.
As Samantha wrote when the bill passed the Texas House of Representatives last Wednesday:
These restrictions would lead to the closing of all but five abortion clinics in the state, making it virtually impossible for an incredibly high number of women to obtain one. Not everyone has access to transportation nor money so they can go visit a clinic hundreds of miles away, and they should not have to. Reproductive rights are just that: rights. And slowly but surely, hundreds of thousands of women are having theirs taken away.
The next step will be court challenges to the new law, which the Times expects to see “almost before Mr. Perry’s signature has time to dry.”
“If you are angry about what happened in Texas tonight – and what’s happening in other states all around the country – there is something you can do about it,” said Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Dawn Laguens. “Register to vote, and vote for candidates who will protect women’s access to health care.”
“The fight for the future of Texas is just beginning,” said Wendy Davis.
Via The New York Times/Photo: Getty