Texas Gov. Rick Perry will sign his state's newest abortion restrictions into law Thursday morning.
House Bill 2, which finally gained full approval from the state Legislature last Friday, will ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require abortions be performed in ambulatory surgical centers, require doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at hospitals within 30 miles of the facility, and require doctors to administer abortion-inducing drugs in person—rather than allow a woman to take them at home.
Perry drew criticism from women's rights groups and abortion rights advocates after ordering a second special session to pass H.B. 2.
“We heard those bills during the regular session,” Democratic state Sen. John Whitmire told msnbc at the start of the special session. “During the regular session, this abortion bill—which is a combination of three bills that were not passed—were blocked for lack of support.”
The abortion measures also failed in the Legislature's last special session, which ended in a day-long filibuster by State Sen. Wendy Davis.