Today Texas Governor Rick Perry (R) will sign a strict anti-abortion bill into law that will jeopardize 37 of the state’s 42 clinics.
Abortion rights organizations have vowed to challenge the law. Both the ACLU and Planned Parenthood Action Fund are currently evaluating their legal options. Similar laws and provisions have been ruled unconstitutional by state and federal courts in Arizona, Idaho, North Dakota, Georgia, and Oklahoma. Many other states currently have stays or temporary injunctions against anti-abortions laws such as Wisconsin, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, South Dakota, and Kansas.
The Texas law, passed by the full state legislature late last week, requires all abortions to be performed in ambulatory surgical centers, abortion providers to have transfer agreements with local hospitals no more than 30 miles away from the facility, and that providers remain in the room for the entirety of a procedure even when medication-induced. The legislation will also ban abortion after 20 weeks with no exception for rape or incest.
Recently, abortion rights advocate Sarah Slamen revealed that Perry’s older sister, Milla Perry Jones, could represent a conflict of interest for the governor regarding the legislation. Jones is currently a board member of the Texas Ambulatory Surgical Center Society and vice-president of government affairs for United Surgical Partners International. Slamen and other critics believe that by forcing all abortion care to be provided in ambulatory surgical centers will financially benefit Jones and potentially Perry.